The Joint Statement

Independent disability advocacy benefits people with disability, families, supporters, the disability sector, and the wider community by supporting people to understand and access services and supports, know their rights, and address serious risks, issues or crises. Disability advocacy organisations, with their detailed local knowledge and networks work to defend and safeguard the rights of Australians with disability and support their inclusion, leadership and full participation in the community.

The Disability Royal Commission (DRC) and the NDIS Review both identified the importance of independent disability advocacy and the need for increased sector resourcing. Their final reports have highlighted the crucial role that advocates fulfil in supporting marginalised people with disability to be included, exercise and defend their rights, and prevent violence, neglect, discrimination and exclusion.

And yet, at a time when people with disability will need this trusted independent support to shape, understand and navigate the changes and uncertainty to flow from the big reforms underway, many independent disability advocacy organisations across the country are at crisis point and desperately needing help themselves.

The lack of additional advocacy funding in the Budget has left many organisations making hard decisions to limit their supports to the most urgent matters, close valued programs and let go of skilled staff. Our consultations with member organisations around Australia have found that:

  • 85% will have less capacity to support people with disability over the next 12 months.
  • the vast majority have long wait lists, with many closing their books.
  • 93% are considering staff cuts or have already reduced hours or made staff redundant ahead of this new financial year.
  • small organisations, rural and remote organisations and organisations who only receive funding from their State or Territory government are particularly under threat.

Unless there is immediate action, over the coming weeks we will see more advocacy organisations losing staff and turning away increasing numbers of people with disability in crisis.

We are hopeful that soon the combined strength of the voices from people with disability, their families and advocates, and from DRC and the NDIS Review, will compel governments to increase their investment to meet the demand and need for advocacy over the long-term.

Tragically, this response may arrive too late to keep vital expertise and experience in the advocacy sector. An urgent funding lifeline is needed now to sustain organisations during this period of transition up to July 2025:

  • an additional $29 million for National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) to meet existing advocacy demand until mid-2025;
  • $13 million for a dedicated funding boost for advocacy providers operating in rural, remote and very remote areas to meet the immediate need;
  • $5.225 million on training for Disaster Management, First Nations cultural safety training, resources and pilots, and Supported Decision-Making awareness; and
  • $17 million needs to be allocated to State and Territory disability advocacy programs to sustain organisations currently outside of the Federally-funded NDAP.

The Federal Government must act now to ensure that people with disability can continue to access the advocacy they need during this time of reform.

Sign the statement

If your organisation would like to join this collective call on the Federal Government to address the critical funding shortage of the disability advocacy sector, please email

This Statement is endorsed by:

  • Advocacy for Disability Access and Inclusion
  • AED Legal Centre
  • Action for People with Disability
  • Amparo Advocacy
  • Association for Children with a Disability (VIC)
  • Brain Injury SA
  • Citizen Advocacy Launceston
  • Citizen Advocacy South Australia
  • Colac Otway Region Advocacy Service
  • Disability Advocacy NSW
  • Disability Advocacy Service
  • Gippsland Disability Advocacy
  • Leadership Plus
  • Mackay Advocacy
  • Midland Information Debt & Legal Advocacy Service
  • North – East Citizen Advocacy
  • People with Disabilities WA
  • People With Disability Australia (PWDA)
  • Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion
  • Rights Information and Advocacy Centre
  • Self Advocacy Sydney
  • South West Autism Network (SWAN)
  • Southwest Advocacy Association
  • Speak Out Association of Tasmania
  • Spinal Cord Injury Australia
  • STAR Victoria
  • TASC – QLD Social Justice Centre
  • Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability
  • Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service
  • Advocacy for Inclusion
  • Queenslanders with Disability Network
  • Women with Disabilities Victoria
  • Developmental Disability WA
  • Grampians disAbility Advocacy
  • Regional Disability Advocacy Service
  • Down Syndrome NSW
  • Side By Side Advocacy
  • Southern Disability Advocacy
  • Advocacy WA
  • Speaking Up For You (SUFY)
  • Association for Children with Disability (Tas)
  • Integrated disAbility Action
  • Disability Advocacy & Complaints Service of South Australia
  • Family Advocacy
  • Intellectual Disability Rights Service
  • Citizen Advocacy Perth West
  • Melbourne East Disability Advocacy
  • Rights in Action
  • Explorability
  • Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy
  • Independent Advocacy SA
  • Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council
  • Disability Justice Australia
  • Intellectual Disability Rights Service
  • Newell Advocacy
  • Illawarra Advocacy
  • Capricorn Citizen Advocacy
  • Women with Disabilities ACT