Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Macklin directs Labor Senators to deny people with disability access to BSWAT Payment Scheme

Labor and the Greens have joined forces in the Senate to block the establishment of a Payment Scheme that would have provided certainty for people with disability working in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).

By blocking this legislation, Labor and the Greens have removed choice for people with disability, leaving them with no option but to participate in a potentially lengthy legal battle with an uncertain outcome.

They have denied people with disability the choice to access a transparent process and swift outcome for eligible individuals.

The Government introduced the package of Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) Payment Scheme Bills into the Senate in June.

At that time, Labor and the Greens disrupted the timely passage of the Bills by referring them to a Senate Committee with a reporting date months later.

The delay was a serious blow to people with disability employed in ADEs, who were denied timely access to the Payment Scheme.

The scheme, which was proposed following the outcome of the recent Federal Court case brought by Mr Nojin and Mr Prior, would have provided a payment to people with an intellectual impairment who have been paid a pro-rata wage assessed using the BSWAT.

The Payment Scheme would have provided a fast and efficient payment to eligible workers with disability, and was entirely voluntary. Choice and control rested with the eligible applicant.

No person would have been required to take a payment from the scheme. The scheme would have been in place for a limited period of time, allowing prompt closure for all parties.

Labor and the Greens have failed people with disability, sacrificing their best interests just to make a political point.

Australians with disability deserve better.