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Workers protest disability changes
Disability service workers outside Parliament House yesterday. Picture: Dione Davidson/The West Australian

More than 400 disability services workers rallied on the steps of State Parliament against the scaling back of public disability accommodation in WA yesterday, claiming people with disabilities will be worse off under the Barnett Government's new system.

The Government announced in October a restructure of the way disability accommodation services would be provided that would reduce the number of accommodation places offered by the Disability Services Commission and give non-government and not-for-profit organisations a bigger share of the sector.

The private sector already provides 83 per cent of accommodation services for people with disability. The 17 per cent provided by the DSC will be reduced to about 5 per cent. There will be no changes to the amount of Government funding for the service but about 500 positions will eventually be lost within the DSC.

Disability Services Minister Helen Morton said the restructure would give people more choice when selecting accommodation, putting WA in line with the principles of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Ms Morton said the transition would take up to two years and no one receiving services from the DSC would be disadvantaged.

Parents of DSC residents told the rally they had concerns their children would not respond well to staff and housing changes.