Government strengthens support for people with disability

New bill seeks to repeal and replace current disability act with stronger safeguards

Government strengthens support for people with disability

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

The Albanese Labor Government has strengthened its support for Australians with disability by introducing the Disability Services and Inclusion Bill 2023 to Parliament.

The government expects the bill to support the more than one in six Australians living with disability by repealing and replacing the current Disability Services Act 1986 with stronger and more fit-for-purpose safeguards while continuing existing supports under a new act.

Disability Services and Inclusion Bill 2023

According to the Department of Social Services, the bill seeks to:

  • provide a better way to fund disability services and supports;
  • improve supports provided outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by requiring a mandatory code of conduct and certification;
  • give effect to Australia's obligations under the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability; and
  • encourage people with disability to participate in the development and review of services and supports.

“Supporting Australians with disability is more than just the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and this act will help enable that – bringing legislation for all people with disability into the 21st Century,” said Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth. “[The bill] will assist the government's continued implementation of reforms linked to the policy priorities that the disability community set through Australia's Disability Strategy 2021-31 and will enable us to provide a broader range of tailored services and supports to people with disability into the future.”

The government developed the bill after community and sector consultation.

“Across multiple rounds of consultation, we have heard from people with disability, their families and carers, as well as Disability Representative Organisations, service providers, and agencies from across government,” Minister Rishworth said. “The introduction of this bill – and its eventual passage – is something we should all be proud of.”

Last year, the government vowed to close the gap in employment for people with disability and embed employment into NDIS plans.

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