Funding arrangements for disability services have been consolidated and streamlined for non-Government organisations.
Disability Services Minister Eric Ripper today announced a new committee would be set up to assess applications for funding from non-Government agencies providing services for Western Australians with disabilities.
This would replace the existing arrangements in which funding to these agencies was administered by three separate Government departments and two Ministers.
"The creation of the Disability Services portfolio has ensured a sharper focus on the needs of people with disabilities," Mr Ripper said.
"The new arrangements allow for better planning and co-ordination in funding services.
"It also further strengthens prospects for unity and co-operation within the field."
Non-Government agencies played a vital role in the disability field. It was important that the complementary roles of the Government and non-Government sectors be managed as a whole to achieve the greatest benefit for Western Australians with disabilities.
Mr Ripper said the five-member funding committee would advise on the distribution of more than $20 million a year.
The committee would comprise experts from the Bureau for Disability Services, the Authority for Intellectually Handicapped Persons, the Department for Community Services, the Advisory Council for Disability Services and a person nominated by the Minister.
Mr Ripper reassured community organisations that the new arrangements would not be disruptive.
"Implementation of the new system will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The fragmentation of sources for funding will now be a thing of the past," he said.
"I will be closely monitoring the change to ensure the procedures are the most efficient and effective possible."
Mr Ripper said that in the current economic climate, it was even more important that the maximum benefit of Government expenditure went to the community which it was designed to help.
"No-one will lose under the new arrangements and Western Australians with disabilities will benefit," he said.
The new arrangement was in line with the Government's recently finalised Disability Policy `A Fair Go for All'.
Mr Ripper said funding levels for disability services would be announced in the State Budget to be brought down next week.