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Tags: Tony Piccolo MP / Gawler / Light Electorate / Living With A Disability


  • By Light Electoral Office
  • Apr 02, 2019

HURT: Kerry Skipworth and Matthew Nitschke with local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo



Local people living with a disability will incur significant financial losses and social isolation if the Marshall Liberal Government doesn’t extend the SA Transport Subsidy Scheme (SATSS) for people with a severe and permanent disability, to ensure no one is worse off as they transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).


Local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo, said people stand to lose the SATSS as they transition to the NDIS, and are set to receive up to $3,000 less in transport funding under the scheme.


SATSS covers up to 75 per cent of the total taxi fare for people with a disability. About 5,500 existing SATSS members, aged between 18 and 64, currently transitioning to the NDIS.
The New South Wales and ACT governments have pledged to continue existing transport subsidies beyond the transition to the NDIS.


Responding to pressure from the State Labor Opposition in State Parliament last week, the Marshall Liberal Government announced it would provide vouchers to 1,200 recipients after July 1 of this year.


The Opposition and stakeholders are seeking clarification of the decision and also what it means for people who effectively receive less travel entitlements.
Kerry Skipworth and Matthew Nitschke are two local people living with disability whose lives will be made much more difficult, if the State Liberals cut off the funding for SATSS for those receiving NDIS benefits.


Ms Skipworth is blind, works for the Royal Society for the Blind (RSB), and is a participant of the NDIS.


Ms Skipworth said the SATSS scheme provides taxi vouchers to people with disabilities to maintain their independence by accessing affordable taxi journeys to attend medical appointments, social activities and in some cases their place of work.
Mr Nitschke, who lives in the Barossa Valley says there is little, if any, public transport and he needs the disability access taxi to do the basic things on a day-to-day basis.


“The voucher helps me afford to travel to work and other activities which help me maintain some independence and dignity,” Mr Nitschke said.


“The needs of every person living with a disability are different and the voucher system enables them to do the everyday things.”


Mr Piccolo said it is a question of fairness and dignity.


“Some of our most vulnerable community members rely on this support to help them live their everyday lives,” Mr Piccolo said.


“We have thousands of people who stand to lose thousands of dollars. Governments should be making their lives easier, not harder.


“South Australians with a disability are angry at the Marshall Liberal Government’s refusal to acknowledge their concerns.”
“I work part time and travel 40km-plus to work. Due to weather conditions and concern for my personal security as a vulnerable person, I rely on these vouchers,” said Ms Skipworth.
Mr Nitschke requires a wheelchair to move around and needs specialised transport services to be able to travel to work, see the doctor and do simple things like go shopping.



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