Speech by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Resolution in support of a National Disability Insurance Scheme, ALP National Conference 2011

Location: Darling Harbour Convention Centre, Sydney

E & OE – Proof only

Thank you,

What a wonderful way to celebrate International Day of People with Disability – recognising your courage, your determination and your achievements.

Because what you have just heard from the Prime Minister speaks to your strength.


People with disability, their families, carers and advocates — including those disability care workers who do so much with so little — have led a campaign for change.

Change that means they won’t have to scrape through life.

Change that means they will have choice over the care and support they receive.

Change that means no longer waking at night with worry about what happens when you’re too old to care for your disabled child.

This has been a campaign for dignity, and for equality.

Because delegates, there is no dignity in charity. And there is no equality either.

This campaign has been long and it has been passionate.

It’s been a campaign with a purpose – to create change.

And it is characterised by unity – by people with disability, their carers and those who provide care and support, coming together for change.

Because through unity comes strength.

Through unity, the voices of people challenged daily by a system that is unfair, underfunded and fragmented – have turned from a whisper to a roar.

Well, the Labor Party has heard your voices.

We will work with you.

To create the change we all want to see for people with disability and their carers.

Because delegates, we in the Labor Party believe in getting things done.

We believe in unity, and we believe that through unity comes strength.

The strength to stand up for those who need it most, for equality.

And the strength to deliver.

We campaigned for security in retirement. And we delivered the age pension and compulsory superannuation.

We campaigned for universal health care. And we delivered Medicare.

We campaigned for Paid Parental Leave, and we delivered it.

Delegates, the National Disability Insurance Scheme is one of our next big Labor reforms.

What you have just heard from the Prime Minister is our commitment to create this change.

To build a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

A change that will entitle people with disability to the care and support they need throughout their lives.

A change that will ease the worries of parents about the future for their sons and daughters.

A change to give choice to people who have until now had unequal access to the opportunities this country can afford.


Equality requires effort, and that’s what this Government — this Labor Government — is putting in.

So that people with disability and their carers will, in the future, be eye to eye with each of us, as Australians.

I commend the motion to you.