Friday, July 6, 2007

Alarming Development CSTDA

Dear All,

RE: Commonwealth State Territory Disability Agreement

Alarming developments in the vexed CSTDA negotiations:

Yesterday, Federal Minister Brough wrote to State & Territory Ministers withdrawing the offer of uncapped matched growth funding under a new CSTDA for all but 3 jurisdictions (ie WA, NT and ACT). The State Ministers were working towards the deadline of 25 July when Federal and State Ministers were to meet in Sydney. At this meeting the state Ministers were intending to continue negotiations towards a national agreement that included dollar for dollar matched funding for all states with expenditure on unmet need for supported accommodation and respite over the life of the next CSTDA. This was to be an “open chequebook” offer. Minister Brough has now withdrawn this offer without notice, except for the above jurisdictions.

Last week, the Prime Minister announced the Disability Assistance package of $1.8billion over five years. Mr Howard, in his announcement speech, clearly stated that this was IN ADDITION to the CSTDA. As you are aware, the NSW Stronger Together Package plus the new Commonwealth Disability Assistance Package will provide possibly 1200 new accommodation places (generous estimates) up to 2011. The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare conservatively estimates that NSW will need 7000 supported accommodation places during this time. We desperately need the CSTDA to address unmet need in this area.

Minister Keneally will be issuing a statement today based on her immediate response letter to Minister Brough.

NCOSS and 12 other NSW organisations had signed off on a position statement before Minister Brough’s announcement. We will be updating this and promoting this issue with you and your constituents shortly. Please consider being part of this very important issue.

Please forward this throughout your networks.

Christine Regan
Senior Policy Officer

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