Thursday, 13 March 2014
Money, Money, Money. For good. – Dignity for Disability Releases Economic Policy
Embracing new industries and stopping government waste are the cornerstones of Dignity for Disability’s economic policy that was released today.
“Dignity for Disability sees a bright economic future for South Australia if we embrace innovation and inclusivity,” said Party Leader Kelly Vincent MLC.
Built around a formulation of ‘just economics’ – a plan that strives to not only increase the wealth of the state but also emphasizes our responsibility to include those currently overlooked by the system – the policy has four action points:
– Niche manufacturing. “The days of Holden and big manufacturing in SA are over and we need to find new industries that make more sense of our position in a global economy,” said Ms Vincent. “Niche industry and the principles of the highly successful German Mittelstadt model are the future for SA. We can be leaders in the small-to-medium-enterprise market through the making of specialised products, which the nation and the world will come to buy from us. A living local example of this is Les Brazier Vehicles – a company that specializes in adapting vehicles for disability use that is going from strength to strength.”
– Innovative industry. “Sales of new bicycles in Australia have outstripped sales of new cars every year since 2001,” said Ms Vincent. “This is exactly the kind of information we should use to determine which industries could benefit from support that encourages innovation. With government help, South Australia could become a world-leader in bicycle and wheelchair mechanics and design. Other industries prime for innovation support include medical research and alternative energy generation.”
– Ending Government waste by zapping inefficient anomalies. “Our government system is plagued by a silo mentality that results in expensive cost-shifting between departments,” said Ms Vincent. “For example, people with disabilities who need about $200 of help per day provided by the Disability department to return home safely instead languish in hospital at a cost of $1500 per day to the health budget. This inflexible, petty system is costly both in human and monetary terms. We demand a whole of government approach to make the system at once more responsive and less wasteful.”
– Inclusive meaningful employment. “A huge swathe of the South Australian workforce remains inactive because of poor awareness and education around the issue of disability in the workplace,” said Ms Vincent. “Rather than leaving people with disabilities who can and want to work in state-funded activity programs we need to make a real effort to get them into employment by educating business about the contribution they could make and providing more support to people in finding work.”