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Politicians Ignore Disability Issues, Advocates Claim
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 2, 2004

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA--Disability rights groups are frustrated that politicians are ignoring issues which are important to the 20 percent of people in Queensland that have disabilities, the Townsville Bulletin reported Monday.

Representatives from the Burdekin Disability Advisory Group, the Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Association of Queensland (PQAQ), and a group called the Unmet Needs Campaign said that the state's political parties' leaders need to put these issues back on their agenda.

"At the moment there's no one coming out and putting any disability issues on the agenda for the election and it's been surprising," said Advisory Group chairperson Scott Stidston.

"We have been very disappointed. We hope this is the start of all political parties coming out and telling people what they are going to do if they get elected," he added.

PQAQ spokesperson John Mayo said that funding to help people be more independent is "woefully short".

"The many years of neglect now has Queenslanders no longer willing to quietly accept the helplessness and demeaning lifestyle through lack of disability support funding," he said.

Candidates were scheduled to speak publicly at a disability forum Monday night. Advocates said they hoped the parties were ready to offer solutions.

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