Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Celebrating 20 years of the Disability Discrimination Act

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Jan Mclucas, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, and Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Carers, Jan McLucas today acknowledged the 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Speaking at the launch of Twenty Years: Twenty Stories, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s collection of short films marking the achievements of the Act, Ms Macklin said that the Disability Discrimination Act was a landmark piece of legislation.

“The Disability Discrimination Act enshrined equality for people with disability in our laws,” Ms Macklin said.

“It’s hard to believe that only 20 years ago it was not against the law to deny someone with disability equality – the Disability Discrimination Act changed all of that.

“Labor is proud to have introduced the historic Disability Discrimination Act and we are proud to be introducing another historic social reform, the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“The National Disability Insurance Scheme will ensure people with disability, wherever they live, receive care and support based on their needs, and have choice and control over this support.”

Senator McLucas said that since the Disability Discrimination Act came into effect on 1 March 1993 it has not only established a framework to eliminate discrimination, it has been a catalyst for changing social attitudes towards disability.

“The Disability Discrimination Act has been fundamental in ensuring that the rights and opportunities for people with disability are the same as for every other Australian,” Senator McLucas said.

“The Gillard Government is pleased to have provided $50,000 to the Twenty Years: Twenty Stories project to both celebrate the Act’s anniversary and raise awareness of its importance to Australians with disability.”

The Gillard Government has invested $1 billion in the first stage of the NDIS, which will provide support to more than 20,000 people with significant and permanent disabilities.

The first stage will start in five launch sites across the country – the Hunter in NSW, the Barwon area of Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania from July 2013, and the ACT from July 2014.