Tasmania’s election: the disability vote

by | Mar 22, 2024 | The Big Story

Candidates are still displaying varied degrees of commitment to disability issues despite a desperate scramble for votes the day before the poll. 

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The roll-out of the NDIS began in Tasmania and so it’s not surprising that disability will be a significant factor influencing many people’s vote. What does come as a shock is that a few politicians still don’t appear to realise just how important addressing these issues is if they want to win. 

National Disability Services (NDS) asked all the major parties for commitments about key disability policy areas, including increased funding and workforce development. Most candidates, ranging across the political spectrum from the Greens to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Carlo Di Falco showed awareness of deficiencies in the current situation. Responses to the NDS survey can be found here

Unfortunately what was not apparent were specific, articulated policy commitments to address the needs of the sector. This seems to demonstrate candidates still don’t understand that disability is a mainstream issue they must engage with if they want to be elected. 

Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) wrote to all candidates urging them to increase early intervention programs to reduce escalating hospital admissions. This raised awareness but appears to have failed to generate specific commitments. 

Tasmania goes to the polls tomorrow.