In the Media

$41m for South Australians with mental illness and disability

Last week, I was pleased to announce a raft of mental health and disability funding initiatives I negotiated with the state government, worth $41.5 million to South Australians over four years, in return for Dignity Party support for the treasurer’s bank tax.

The Dignity Party, first and foremost, aim to ensure all South Australians can access high quality healthcare, and disability supports and programs.

To provide services, governments needs to charge taxes. For too long, already disadvantaged people in this state have struggled to access the health care and disability supports they need due to lack of funding and resources.

It’s just not good enough. At the end of day, a community is nothing without its people. I’ll take every possible opportunity to vehemently defend those who have gone without vital supports and make sure government money is spent on those who need it most.

This is one such opportunity. I cannot stand by and watch young lives lost to suicide, a lack of disability support, families in crises or people being unable to access effective mental health programs so I have insisted that the treasurer allocate more funding to mental health and disability programs in our community.

However, these programs are not contingent on the bank tax passing the parliament, just on my support of it, so these programs will go ahead regardless.

My negotiations with the treasurer will see the following programs established or reinstated in Budget Forward Estimates (2017-2021 Budget years):

$10.25 million for a Borderline Personality Disorder Centre of Excellence and staffing for a hub and spoke model of specialised BPD services across South Australians Local Health Networks;

$17.1m to reinstate the highly effective Intensive Home Based Support Service (IHBSS) mental health program;

$6.6m to continue funding the Centre for Disability Health at Modbury until 2022;

$5.9m to maintain the crossDepartmental Exceptional Needs Unit (ENU) while the NDIS continues to roll out and potential gaps in service need to be plugged;

$1.7m in grants for Changing Places high-level accessible toilets across the state;

Additionally, the negotiated package includes: accessibility (disability access) features in all of the future builds of the 1,000 homes in 1,000 days program; confirmation of the Future Jobs Fund around disability providers, jobs and innovation; and scoping for disabilitytrained/DCSI staff on the Child Abuse Report Line (CARL).

Kelly Vincent MLC, Dignity Party