Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Disability Investment Group Report released

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services

The Australian Government today released the Disability Investment Group’s report commissioned as part of our commitment to set out a ten year agenda for coordinated, across-government action for Australians with disability.

The report, The Way Forward: A new disability policy framework for Australia, is an important contribution to the Australian Government’s National Disability Strategy.

With the number of people with a severe or profound disability predicted to rise to 2.3 million by 2030, the Government recognises the need to look at how we can better support people with disability over the long-term

The Government has already responded to the report’s primary recommendation, announcing last week that the Productivity Commission will undertake a comprehensive feasibility study into a national disability insurance scheme.

The Productivity Commission will investigate the feasibility of new approaches, including a social insurance model, for funding and delivering long-term disability care and support for people with severe or profound disabilities however they are acquired.

This will include detailed modelling and analysis to determine if a long-term disability care and support scheme would be appropriate, practical, economically responsible and whether it would fit with Australia’s health, aged care, income support and injury insurance systems.

The Government has also announced the appointment of John Walsh as a part-time Associate Commissioner to the Productivity Commission inquiry. Mr Walsh was instrumental in the development of the Australian Registry of Spinal Cord Injury and is a board member of the NSW Motor Accidents Authority and the NSW Home Care Service.

The Government and the Productivity Commission will also be advised by an independent panel of seven people who bring considerable experience across the disability sector, including Chair of Yooralla Bruce Bonyhady, Chair of the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council Rhonda Galbally, and Australian Medical Association President Andrew Pesce.

The Productivity Commission will report to the Government in July 2011.

The Disability Investment Group was established by Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities Bill Shorten last year to provide advice on ways to explore funding ideas from the private sector to help people with disabilities and their families access greater support and plan for the future.

The report also makes recommendations on employment, housing and research. These recommendations will inform the Government’s policy consideration in developing the National Disability Strategy.

The Disability Investment Group has demonstrated great commitment and insight in this significant area of public policy and the Government thanks them for their hard work and dedication to people with disability.

The report and membership of the Disability Investment Group can be found The Way Forward: a new disability policy framework for Australia.

Independent panel

Bruce Bonyhady (President of Philanthropy Australia and Chair of Yooralla)

David Bowen (Chief Executive Officer of the Lifetime Care and Support Authority in NSW)

Dr Rhonda Galbally (Chair of the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council)

Ms Robyn McKay (previously served in Senior Executive positions in the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs)

Dr Andrew Pesce (Federal President of the Australian Medical Association)

Ms Ann Sherry AO (former Chief Executive Officer of Westpac New Zealand and Group Executive, Westpac New Zealand and the Pacific)

Mr Ian Silk (Chief Executive of AustralianSuper)