Amicus to speak at budget rally

VOCAL: Amicus Group executive officer Ann-Maree Davis.

VOCAL: Amicus Group executive officer Ann-Maree Davis.

AMICUS Group will voice its concerns over federal changes to the disability support pension during next week's Bust the Budget rally in Bendigo.

The Bendigo-based disability support service has endorsed the event and executive officer Ann-Maree Davis will address protesters.

Ms Davis said "a lot of families" had got in contact with the service with serious concerns about the changes.

"I have spoken with many families who have expressed real concern about their capacity to cope with some of the proposed changes," she said.

"It is important for Community Service Organisations like Amicus to raise issues that impact on those who are most vulnerable in our community and provide strong advocacy."

The federal government released a report into the Disability Support Pension in June this year which recommended the payment be reserved for people with a permanent disability and no capacity to work.

The changes came into effect on July 1.

The number of people receiving the payment increased by 43 per cent between 1997 and 2009.

Ms Davis said the change would hurt the most vulnerable in the Bendigo community.

She said the rally gave Amicus the opportunity to make its concerns known.

"We'll continue to raise issues on whatever platform possible," Ms Davis said.

"We hope that our participation in the Bust the Budget Rally will highlight the struggles faced and provide some impetus to re-think the budget strategy."

The rally on Tuesday will begin with a march from Bendigo Trades Hall, south down View Street, along Mitchell Street and Hargreaves Mall to Liberal House in Bull Street.

A bus will bring La Trobe University students from the campus to View Street to take part in the rally.

Members for Bendigo East and Bendigo West Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards and federal member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters will also attend the rally.

Liberal candidate for Bendigo West Michael Langdon said "it was a shame local members weren't as vocal" when Labor was in government.


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