Let Life Live on the Limestone Coast – Dignity for Disability Launches Regional SA Policy

Prioritising sustainability in our state’s foodbowl and fair access to services are two key issues for the South-East and Limestone Coast highlighted in d4d’s regional SA policy released today.

The practice of coal seam gas mining – known as fracking – is a probability in the region after it was identified as a site of special interest in the Government’s 2012 ‘Roadmap for Unconventional Gas Projects in South Australia’. Dignity for Disability will fight against using the unproved technology in a region that is already a productive contributor to South Australia’s through food production.

“The Limestone Coast and South-East is a region well-known for its fabulous wine grapes and top grade grazing livestock, and of course to produce these it is reliant on a steady supply of clean water,” said Kelly Vincent MLC – Dignity for Disability Party Leader.

“Fracking is still an unproven practice. Forcing chemicals and other material into the earth to force out gas might seem to make good economic sense, but we have no guarantee that our water table and aquifers will not get contaminated in the process. Dignity for Disability is calling for legislation to be passed that prevents fracking from going ahead in South Australia until a body of scientific evidence proves it is safe and sustainable.”

Dignity for Disability’s regional policy also calls for better provision of essential services in the South-East and Limestone coast area.

“With just one specialised education facility for children with disabilities and two schools offering specialised classes in the entire Limestone Coast – it is clear there are not enough provisions in the region for children with disabilities to reach their full potential,” said Ms Vincent. “This is a theme that carries over to the areas of mental health and even general health provision – services are few and far between and tend to be clustered in the larger city centres with no outreach to those in smaller townships.”

Dignity for Disability is calling for an entire re-think of regional service provision, with an emphasis put on the accessibility of services and primary care, a model which will ultimately result in less acute treatment in hospital and a lighter bill or taxpayers. The party is also encouraging Government to use the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as a chance to achieve service equality for all in SA.

“The NDIS is an opportunity for South Australia to get regional service provision right, and to give every South Australian with a disability equal access to support,” said Ms Vincent. “However, the rollout will take five years – and that will be five years too long for some. We need to act now to secure a better future for South Australians living in regional areas.”