Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

More people benefiting from disability support services

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Disability Reform

A new report released today shows a significant increase in people’s use of disability support services in Australia, reflecting the Australian Government’s unprecedented investment in disability care and support.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s report, Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2010-11, found that more than 314,000 people used disability support services in 2010-11 – an increase of 45 per cent since 2005-06.

The report also shows that more people with disability who need accommodation and community support services are able to access them.

The Australian Government’s investments in disability care and support are benefiting more people with disability than ever before.

The Government is doubling funding provided to state and territory governments for disability services, delivering $7.2 billion over six years under the National Disability Agreement.

We have also invested $160 million for new supported accommodation places – more than any other Commonwealth government in history.

The Government’s reforms to help people with disability into work where possible are also delivering encouraging results, with the AIHW report finding the use of employment services by people with disability has increased by 75 per cent between 2005-06 and 2010-11.

The Government believes we can do better than a lifetime spent on income support for Australians who have some capacity to work.

That’s why we are investing more than $3 billion over four years to uncap access to Disability Employment Services. Almost 100,000 people have been placed in jobs through these services in the past two years.

We have also improved work rules for Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients, enabling them to work up to 30 hours a week without their payment being suspended or cancelled, subject to the income test. New participation requirements for DSP recipients under the age of 35 are helping people with disability build their capacity and overcome barriers to work.

The Australian Government is getting on with the job of building a National Disability Insurance Scheme so that people with disability can get the care and support they need, no matter where they live or how they acquired their disability.

We are investing $1 billion to roll out the first stage of an NDIS from July next year, benefiting about 20,000 people, their families and carers, in the Hunter region of New South Wales, the Barwon region of Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.

The report can be found at