Lobbying continues for better funding and policies

Stories | October 13, 2022

CBM urges the Australian Government to re-establish Australia’s international leadership in disability-inclusive development by implementing 11 critical policy recommendations, including an immediate increase to the central disability allocation.

The 11 recommendations were developed in collaboration with the international disability movement and the Australian Disability & Development Consortium (ADDC), the peak representative body for the Australian international development sector on disability inclusion.

Recently we met with the Minister for International Development and the Pacific’s principal advisor, Shadow Minister Michael McCormack (see picture below), as well as officials from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to discuss the recommendations further. In particular, we want to see a reversal of cuts of 25% to the central disability allocation and the renewal of the lapsed multi-year disability strategy. The central allocation funds critical work in partnering with organisations of people with disabilities, capacity development and technical expertise, including for our nearest neighbours in the Pacific.

While we welcome a commitment to increase overseas aid by the Government, we remain concerned that people with disabilities are in danger of being left behind.

Christina Parasyn (ADDC co-chair), Kerryn Clarke (ADDC Executive Officer), Renee Dodds (CBM Acting Head of Policy and Advocacy) and Michael McCormack (Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific) all smile and look at a copy of the joint policy recommendations
From left to right: Christina Parasyn (ADDC co-chair), Kerryn Clarke (ADDC Executive Officer), Renee Dodds (CBM Acting Head of Policy and Advocacy) and Michael McCormack (Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific)

We are continuing to call on the Government to revitalise disability inclusion in Australia’s international development program by: 

  • Increasing the central disability allocation to a minimum of $14 million in the FY2022-23 budget to help restore cuts of recent years.
  • Making disability inclusion a significant priority in the government’s new International Development strategy.
  • Providing DFAT with immediate approval to continue developing a new disability inclusion and rights strategy in partnership with people with disabilities and their representative organisations. The current version of the strategy, Development For All, expired at the end of 2021.
  • Establishing a Partnership for an Inclusive Pacific (P4IP), a regional group of key partners to coordinate action and financial resources for increased inclusion of people with disabilities across the Pacific.

Not to mention boosting disability expertise in DFAT by re-instating an advisory group to the Australian Aid program, including a strong representation of diverse people with disabilities from the Asia-Pacific region.

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