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Better bet for the Barossa – Dignity for Disability launches Regional SA policy

A focus on increasing tourism revenue and equitable access to services are the major changes Dignity for Disability would like to see in the Barossa Valley, as outlined in the Party’s regional SA policy launched today.

The Barossa is one of South Australia’s major tourism attractions, but d4d Party Leader Kelly Vincent says the region is missing out on income from travelers with disabilities.

“As the Australian population ages and the grey nomad movement catches on, we’re going to see more and more tourists with disabilities,” said Ms Vincent. “The Barossa stands to capitalise on its already excellent reputation by creating disability-friendly tourism packages.”

“Dignity for Disability will work with local tourism business, the South Australian Tourism Commission and local Barossa councils to improve the accessibility of Barossa experiences. Through these measures and by lobbying to incorporate disability awareness and communication training into tourism diplomas and certificates, we will work to make South Australia and the Barossa Valley the top disability tourism destinations in the world.”

The welfare of local Barossa Valley residents forms another major focal point of Dignity for Disability’s regional policy.

“The feedback our party receives from South Australians living in rural areas has a common theme,” said Ms Vincent. “They all say services such as mental health support and disability care are located too far away and are over-stretched and under-resourced.”

“Dignity for Disability’s regional policy calls for an overall re-thinking of service delivery to regional areas. The strategy places an emphasis on accessibility of services and primary care, a model which will ultimately result in less acute treatment in hospital, a lighter bill for taxpayers and better quality of life for rural South Australians.”

The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will provide support to the SA Government in achieving this goal, said Ms Vincent, but shouldn’t be seen as a magic bullet.

“The NDIS is an opportunity for South Australia to get regional service provision right, and to give every South Australian with a disability equal access to support,” said Ms Vincent. “However, the rollout will take five years – and that will be five years too long for some. We need to act now to secure a better future for South Australians living in regional areas.”