Alex Greenwich, the independent member for Sydney, will move an amendment to the NSW Government’s NDIS Enabling Bill to protect gay, lesbian, and transgender people with a disability and disability workers who are gay, lesbian or transgender.
Greenwich told the Star Observer “many people in both the government and opposition don’t believe gay, lesbian, and transgender people should be treated as second class citizens and I hope that is reflected in supporting my amendment”.
Religiously affiliated disability care providers are exempt from the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act, meaning they can deny service to or unfairly treat a gay, lesbian, or transgender person with a disability or fire a disability worker who is gay, lesbian, or transgender. Mr Greenwich is similarly seeking for discrimination to be removed from private schools as well in New South Wales.
Mr Greenwich said the NSW Government has promised that no person with a disability will be worse off with the transfer of services, assets and employment to the non-government sector but as drafted, the NDIS Enabling bill leaves gay, lesbian, and transgender people vulnerable where a religious organisation takes over public sector services.
“The NDIS is designed to provide people with a disability with a greater choice of services: gay, lesbian and transgender people with a disability should have the same choices as everyone else and not be treated as second class citizens
“My amendment also ensures people with a disability, who have a gay disability worker, will have continuity of care and a new religiously affiliated provider can’t deny a gay disability worker a job”.
Mr John Ajaka, New South Wales Minister for Disability Services was not immediately available for comment.
UPDATE at 6:05PM.
A spokesperson for Minister Ajaka responded to Mr Greenwich’s bill suggesting that it was misplaced late this afternoon.
“The NDIS Enabling Bill is necessary in order to deliver the National Disability Insurance Scheme to people with disability, their families and carers.
“The NDIS is about inclusion, and not exclusion.
“The Bill is not the appropriate avenue for the Member to pursue this issue. However, I can assure him that the government with take these concerns into account and manage them in the interests of clients and staff” the Minister said.