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PWDA Election E-Bulletin
Special Edition 
People with Disability Australia on Facebook People with Disability Australia on Twitter People with Disability Australia on Pinterest People with Disability Australia on Youtube
This Special E-Bulletin will provide you with all the information you need to know to participate in the upcoming NSW State Election, which will be held on Saturday 28 March 2015.
Included in this E-Bulletin are links to the PWD election platform (what we want from the next NSW Government); links to all the major parties and their policies relating to disability; and information on how to vote.
Why Vote?
It is extremely important for all Australians, but particularly Australians with disability, to vote in any local, state or national election. This is because your vote affects the composition of the governing bodies that make the decisions which affect the lives of all Australians.
Australia is a representative democracy, which means we elect representatives to make decisions on our behalf. It is the right and responsibility of every Australian to vote. This ensures that everyone's voice is heard and our elected representatives genuinely are those preferred by the majority of the electorate.
As people with disability, we already represent a minority voice in Australia, one which is often unheard in the greater discussion on national policy making. As a result, many policies pass, or are left unchanged, because the decision makers who run the country haven’t heard our views and don’t realise that they matter!
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is bringing with it a lot of changes for people with disability in NSW. We need a Government who will ensure that these changes are made in a way that delivers the best outcomes for people with disability.
Therefore it is essential that you vote.
What does the State Government do?
The State Government makes decisions about issues that affect all people living in NSW. Its responsibilities include, but are not limited to:     
Providing support for farmers, including research into best farming practices, disease prevention and financial aid when disasters such as floods or droughts occur.
Providing a public education system and also supervising the running of private schools. The Education Department is also in charge of exams, providing assistance for student with disability, maintaining the buildings in schools and TAFE and employing all the teachers. This is one of the most important jobs of State governments.
Electricity and gas supplies
In general, government -owned corporations provide electricity and gas to the populations of the States. Large power stations make the electricity, which is then carried to different areas that need the power.
Hospitals, ambulances and community health services are all provided by the State governments. All public hospitals are run by State governments and private hospitals are monitored by State governments. Many doctors and nurses are employees of State governments.
State governments are in charge of making sure that there is enough land for all the people in the State to have housing. This is also known as the planning role of the government. Housing is also provided to low income earners by State governments. These houses are maintained by Housing NSW.
Law and order
State governments are in charge of setting up and maintaining law and order through the police force and the courts. The prison system is also the responsibility of State governments.
Local government
State governments give some of their power to local councils, to deal with issues such as waste disposal and roads. The State government is in charge of all local governments and their workers.
Main roads
Main roads and highways in the States are the responsibility of the State governments.
Public transport
Trains, trams, bus and ferry services in the cities and towns of the States are all run by State governments.
Water supply to cities and towns for drinking is the responsibility of the State governments. Irrigation for farmers is also provided under the control of State governments. 
How to Vote
The 2015 NSW State Election is on Saturday 28th March 2015.
You must be enrolled (on the list) to vote. Accessible information on enrolling and voting can be found on the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) VoteNSW website
Voting takes place between 8am and 6pm at polling places around the country. Where you will be on Election Day determines how you can vote.
If you are in your local area you can vote at any polling place in your electorate. PollingPlace locations are advertised on the VoteNSW website and in major newspapers the Friday before Election Day.
If you are in your home state or territory but outside your electorate, you can vote at any polling place. This is called an absent vote.
If you will be in another state or territory you can only vote at special interstate voting centres. Locations will be advertised at the time of the election. Alternatively, you could cast an early vote before you leave home or you can apply for ballot papers to be sent to you.
If you are not able to vote on Election Day you may be eligible to vote at an early voting centre or to apply for a postal vote. Remember, if you do apply for a postal vote, ballot papers can’t be sent to you until the candidates for the election are finalised. 
Accessible Voting 
The NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) VoteNSW website has accessible information about early voting and about voting in a polling place.
If you speak a language other than English:
A free telephone interpreter service is available to electors who require information in their language. Call 13 14 50 and an operator will arrange for an interpreter to join in a three-way conversation with an election official to ensure the elector receives answers to their questions.
The NSWEC also advertises in major ethnic media during the State election period.
For Local Government elections, each council determines the level of service and information provided in languages other than English.
General information on enrolling, elections and voting is also available to download in a number of community languages. Please see the assistance in your language page on the NSW NSWEC website for more details.
If you have a Hearing or Speech impairment:
If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact the NSWEC through the National Relay Service:
TTY users phone 133 677 then ask for 1300 135 736
Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1300 135 736
Internet relay users connect to the NRS ( and then ask for 1300 135 736
The ivote system is a form of voting where eligible voters can register and vote using the internet or telephone as an alternative to voting at a polling centre. You can register and vote from the ivote website or by phone on (1300 24 86 83) or +612 9290 5287 from overseas 9am - 5pm EDST Monday - Friday.
iVote registration opened on 12 February  and closes at 1.00pm EDST Saturday 28 March
The iVote system opens for voting from 8.00am EDST Monday, 16 March and closes at 6.00pm EDST on Saturday, 28 March.
Wheelchair accessibility
The level of accessibility at each polling place is displayed on each District’s polling place map as follows:
Full Wheelchair Accessbility

Assisted Wheelchair Accessibility
On each list premises are shown and the details relating to accessibility appear on the screen when a particular venue is selected. In this way electors with disability are able to make a more informed choice as to which location is best for them.
If however you attend a venue that you are unable to enter, you can ask a friend, family member or party worker to request an election official assist you to vote outside. If this happens:
  • an election official will bring the ballot papers out to you,
  • you complete the ballot papers and
  • the election official will place them in the ballot box.
The election official assisting you should be in the presence of a scrutineer, another election official or some other person you nominate to ensure that your ballot paper is completed and submitted in accordance with your wishes.
All pre-poll locations will have at least one wheelchair accessible voting screen.
Voting Assistance at the Polling Place
Languages other than English
A free telephone interpreter service is available to electors who require information in their language. Call 13 14 50 and an operator will arrange for an interpreter to join in a three-way conversation with an election official to ensure the elector receives answers to their questions.
Multilingual Audio Information 
  • How to vote instructions are also available in audio format in these languages.
  • Arabic 
  • Cantonese 
  • English 
  • Greek 
  • Italian 
  • Mandarin 
  • Vietnamese 
The instructions are available in English, Large Print English and a number of community languages.
For Hearing or Speech Impaired
Auslan Videos
NSW Electoral Commission's websites include a number of Auslan video clips that provide information to electors who use Auslan.
These include:
If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service:
TTY users phone 133 677 then ask for 1300 135 736
Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1300 135 736
Internet relay users connect to the National Relay Service and then ask for 1300 135 736
Blind and low vision electors
Audio Instructions
The NSW Electoral Commission provides information in audio format.
This includes:
  • Put your name on the list to vote (Enrolment) 
  • Instructions for Voting on election day at NSW State Elections 
  • iVote Information 
  • Redistribution Information 
Having Trouble Voting?
It is very important for people with disability to vote. If you face any barriers to voting, you can make the NSW Electoral Commission aware of these barriers by contacting:
1300 135 736 (local call rate within Australia)
Fax: 02 9290 5991
TTY users: phone 133 677 then ask for 02 9290 5999
Speak and Listen users: phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 9290 5999
Internet relay users: connect to the National Relay Service then ask for 02 9290 5999
PWDA also wants to know your experiences of voting in this election, whether good or bad.  This will help us continue our advocacy to make the electoral process accessible to all people with disability.  If you have a good news story or face any problems during the electoral process, please contact Kate Finch on 1800 422 015 or  
PWD’s Election Platform

PWDA’s 2015 NSW Election Platform focuses on a socially just, accessible and inclusive NSW community. Our Platform identifies five key areas which we believe should be prioritised by the NSW Government during this time of significant change in the disability landscape. They are:
Realise inclusion  - through the full implementation of the National Disability Strategy in NSW
Deliver disability support – with person-centred disability support services provided in a diverse, sustainable and competitive market
Living in the Community – addressing the systemic barriers that exclude people with disability from living in the community
Deliver on jobs and training  - through cross-Government strategies to improve training and employment outcomes for people with disability
Prevent violence and ensure justice - embed a holistic strategy of prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership
We call on all candidates and parties to commit to addressing these issues, and taking the recommended actions. The actions are by no means exhaustive, but provide a basic framework within which candidates and parties can elaborate.
To read the PWDA election platform, click here

The Parties and their Policies

A list of all parties registered in the 2015 NSW election can be found here
Parties listed below have a specific disability policy or statement, or offer a reference to disability in other policy areas.
The ALP have released a five point disability policy to “improve the lives of people with a disability in NSW.”
Family First NSW Inc
Offer a Disability Support Policy which outlines their “commitment to policies that provide opportunities for all citizens, including those with a disability to live with dignity and achieve their potential.”
The NSW Disability Inclusion plan was launched by the current Coalition Government on February 26. The Liberal Party offer in their NSW 2021 Plan a person-centred approach to disability services.
The Liberal Party also offer reference through the announcement of a $20 million Social Housing Community Improvement Fund to improve the liveability and amenity of social housing communities as part of their Social Housing Policy if elected. The Fund would be aimed at improving “community infrastructure, enhance open spaces, improve safety, increase accessibility for older people or people with disability or facilitate integration between social housing and the broader community”.
Offers a specific People with disability policy that “endorses the principle of self-determination and empowerment of people with disability as the central approach […] to coordinate disability rights.”
Jan Barham, Greens NSW Disability spokesperson has welcomed PWDA’s 2015 Election Platform. The Greens offer a disability policy that believes “all people have the right to participate fully in all aspects of civil, political, social, economic and cultural life, regardless of their differing abilities.”
The Sydney Morning Herald 2015 NSW election page
Jenifer Macey
Rachel Brown
Liz Foschia
Kirsty Needham
William Bowe
About PWDA
People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) is a national disability rights and advocacy organisation. Our membership is made up of people with disability and organisations committed to the disability rights movement.

PWDA was founded in 1981, the International Year of Disabled People, to provide people with disability with a voice of our own. We have a cross-disability focus and represent the interests of people with all kinds of disability.

As a non-profit, non-government organisation we depend on public donations, bequests and fundraising activities to maintain our commitment to improving the lives of people with disability. As a deductible gift recipient, all donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible. Your tax deductible donations support the work of PWDA. If you are able to support us, please visit
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Contact Us
If you would like to receive PWDA E-Bulletin in an alternative format or have an enquiry, please contact PWDA by email or on one of the numbers listed below.

People with Disability Australia Incorporated
PO Box 666 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Phone 02 9370 3100, toll-free 1800 422 015
TTY 02 9318 2138, toll-free 1800 422 016

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