Time to act in the disability sector: Moylan
Posted on Monday, 21 November 2011
Hon Judi Moylan MP says it is time to act on increasing government support for the disability sector and remove barriers to employment.
Following a report in The Australian by Sue Dunlevy (“Target disabled for jobs” Page 5, 21 November 2011), Mrs Moylan said providing employment opportunities in the private and public sectors is essential to the financial security, physical and mental health and sense of identity of people with a disability.
Instead of targeting people with a disability in successive budgets, government should be removing the barriers to employment and ensuring more places available to people with a disability in the public service sector.
The Dunlevy article reported that the Department of Human Services has no target for increasing its employment of people with a disability even though it pays the disability pension and administers the policy to get people off welfare and into work.
“In February 2011, I moved a Private Member’s motion calling on the government to remove the barriers to employment for people with disability which was supported by the Parliament,” Mrs Moylan said.
“Strong support was given by the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Hon Jan McLucus and the former Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, the Hon Bill Shorten MP.
“The momentum has been lost and it is time the Government acted to ensure it sets an example by implementing a strong policy of employing people with a disability in the public sector.”
The inflexibility of the disability support pension, accessibility of public transport, affordable child care and suitable access to workplaces all remain barriers to employment for people with a disability.
“If a disabled employee is forced to spend more than $400 a week in taxi fares, as detailed in the National Disability Strategy consultation report, Shut out: the experience of people with disabilities and their families in Australia, we are denying people with a disability meaningful employment and detracting from our national productivity,” Mrs Moylan said.
“Shut Out was released in 2009 and nothing has changed. Now is the time for the government to act.”