COMMUNITY group volunteers of Landcare and Tidy Towns from Port Stephens have strongly opposed potential changes at the Ngioka Centre, Little Beach.
Steve Bernasconi of Port Stephens Council, told News Of The Area, “The purpose of the Ngioka Centre is to first and foremost provide a disability service to some of the most vulnerable people living in the region.”
“There is no doubt that the NDIS has changed the landscape in which disability services are delivered.”
“At present Council is in negotiations with an NDIS service provider to deliver an even broader range of services at the Ngioka Centre, including the horticultural therapy program, which is important to the community,” he said.
For many years the Ngioka Centre’s disability services have included a horticultural therapy program which grew tube stock of local native plants, which have been sold, however the core purpose of the program has always been centred around enriching the lives of the disabled clients of the centre.
Tube stock has been purchased by Council for use in local parks, Landcare, Tidy Towns Groups and the public.
Providers of NDIS Disability Services must be registered, and must meet requirements regarding qualifications, approvals, experience and capacity for the approved supports that they can offer to clients.
Margaret Wilkinson, Works Co-ordinator for the Corlette Parks Reserves and Landcare Group said “for the long-term survival of native plants, it is really important that they are local and endemic”.
It is understood that a recommendation will go to the meeting of Council scheduled for 27 June.
By Marian SAMPSON