Vow to fight for Woodstock cash

ABOUT 150 people last night vowed to keep fighting, keep lobbying until they had enough money to provide early education to all young disabled children on the Border.

Woodstock Early Childhood Intervention Parent Action Group’s Sally Stewart said they would continue until they had the money in the bank.

The Lavington group helps disabled children up to the age of six reach developmental milestones and prepare for mainstream education.

She says at present they are funded for 33 children but more than 250 others are missing out.

“We want this to be a community that supports kids with a disability, helps them achieve,” she said.

“At present there is an educator and assistant who helps them reach milestones, some as simple as rolling over.

“But we want to give the children we have more hours and provide access to more children.

“Most centres around NSW have a team of five professionals that includes the educator, physiotherapist, speech pathologist, an occupational therapist and a family worker.

“That is what we want to build, we want those other four professionals.

“Once we have that team we can apply for more funding.

“We just need the $100,000 to get the part-time team, we can roll on from there, it will really snowball.”

Last night the group circulated petitions calling for more state and federal funding.

They want 8000 signatures to take to politicians and have enlisted the help of member for Farrer Sussan Ley and state member for Albury Greg Aplin.

Ms Ley believes they can make a difference.

“It has been so inequitable for so long, I think it is about time justice prevailed and I think it will,” she said.

“From a federal point of view we are still waiting for the agreement with the states for disability funding, it is a year overdue.

“But when they do that they need to demand responsible spending of the money they give to NSW, there needs to be strings attached.

“They need to ensure NSW hands out the money on a needs basis and not a political one.”

Mr Aplin said last night’s turnout was huge with passionate speakers going to the heart of the issue.

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