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Dear Daniel Andrews,
Before the election you made a commitment to the people of Victoria that any government you led would retain involvement in direct services delivery and avoid further privatisation or contracting-out of existing disability services.
Despite this, in December 2015, your Government announced a conditional transfer of government disability services to the non-government sector.
I’m writing to you as I have serious concerns about the ability of non-government disability service providers to deliver services of the same quality as those provided by the Victorian Government.
A recent report into the non-government disability sector shows providers are already struggling to deal with their current client base and many are facing collapse due to inadequate NDIS funding.
I’m also concerned about DHHS staff if they are forced into the non-government sector. It’s already difficult enough to recruit and retain skilled and experienced support workers, yet this transfer will force them into an underfunded sector where they face average cuts of 30% to their already modest wages and conditions. This will lead to a mass exit of disability support workers at the same time the workforce needs to double to meet the demands of the NDIS.
When considering your decision to transfer the most vulnerable Victorians into an unprepared and underpaid sector, I urge you to see sense and acknowledge your responsibilities. Keep public disability services in public hands.
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