Kelly in the Media

Kelly Vincent – 5AA Interview on Growth Attenuation, SBS Dateline and the Federal Election

On Sunday 19 June 2016, Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent was interviewed on radio station 5AA and discussed recent parliamentary events such as her growth attenuation motion and how the issue was also raised on SBS Dateline. She also discussed the upcoming federal election. Here is the transcript from the interview.

Andrew Reimer: Kelly Vincent, give us a bit of an update about what’s been happening in State Parliament in the Upper House?

Kelly Vincent: This sitting week just gone, the Upper House of Parliament unanimously supported a motion put forward by Dignity for Disability to call for the South Australian Government to place a ban on growth attenuation of people with disabilities. Now, growth attenuation is the hormonal treatment of people to ensure that they stop growing past a certain point and the idea is that it will make them easier to support, particularly by their parents or family carers and commonly it also is coupled with sterilisation we are aware of cases in New Zealand and America where this has occurred and we were very shocked. So we wanted to put a motion forward to make sure that the Government was aware of this and put in place adequate measures to make sure that where disability is the only reason and there isn’t a separate medical issue that would legitimise this treatment that there are proper safeguards to prevent it from happening. I gave a very detailed speech about the issues as Dignity for Disability sees them and then there were a few other speakers and the motion was unanimously supported. So we certainly look forward to continuing this discussion and then if necessary we’ll look at some legislative measures as well because this move is certainly supported by the AMA and when I met with representatives from the AMA they certainly appeared to be shocked as well. Now, we’re not aware of any cases that have happened in Australia yet, but that’s not to say of course that it couldn’t happen and that’s why it’s important that we have this discussion now. Given that we’ve seen it occurring in the United States and also New Zealand. I think it would be naïve to believe that it couldn’t happen here. I’d rather have a conversation about how to prevent it than have the Government dealing with the potential ramifications if it did happen.

Andrew Reimer: There’s also a TV story on SBS ‘Dateline’ which is talking about that issue?

Kelly Vincent: Yes. I’m featured in as the mover of this motion airing on Tuesday night. I’d encourage everyone to tune in!

Andrew Reimer: Federal election, you’ve got something to say about that?

Kelly Vincent: Yes. Dignity for Disability doesn’t run candidates federally at the moment, we’d rather focus our few resources and our passions on the state for the time being. You’re aware that we have had legislation in the parliament previously to put in a number of measures that would make voting at elections more accessible to all people. Things like allowing electronic voting, which is of course already allowed in the federal election, to make voting more accessible for blind and vision impaired voters in particular, but also things like increased information in things like sign language but also the banning of corflute’s they are environmentally irresponsible, they are a distraction for drivers and they’re incredibly expensive, particularly for a minor grassroots party. But on federal issues, you and I talk quite frequently about the NDIS and how the rollout is going and we have talked before about the fact that Dignity for Disability has some concerns that savings or funds that are looking at being directed towards the NDIS seem to be coming away from the very people that the NDIS is supposed to support. So from things like cutting eligibility criteria to the disabilities pension, as well as other people on low incomes like single parents and given that the NDIS is supposed to be about supporting people with disabilities in particular to lead fulfilling and meaningful and dignified lives, we’d be very concerned if funds were taken away from people with disabilities to go toward a different scheme to support them. We really think that’s a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Andrew Reimer: Thanks Kelly.