Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

A better deal for people with disabilities

Thousands of Australians will significantly benefit from the $177 million ‘A better deal for People with Disabilities’ changes, Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Amanda Vanstone said today.

Senator Vanstone said the Federal Government is concerned that many people with disabilities are excluded from the opportunity to participate fully in community life.

“We will keep the income support safety net in place and, at the same time, offer people with disabilities the opportunities that most Australians take for granted,” Senator Vanstone said.

“It’s time to get serious about giving people with disabilities a better deal and the Government is doing this by significantly increasing opportunities for education, training and employment.”

“There will be absolutely no extra obligations placed on disabled people.”

People with disabilities will be given a better deal through:

  • 7,000 new disability employment assistance places in rural and remote locations and in areas of high demand in addition to previously planned growth of 5000 places
  • A further 5300 disability employment assistance places and 11,000 rehabilitation places provided to help parents and mature age workers
  • 5200 additional vocational education and training places;
  • Better access to learning supports for over 1500 students undertaking university courses and improved help to move between study and employment;
  • Enabling Centrelink to purchase work capacity advice from external providers;
  • Making better use of Centrelink in-house expert staff; and
  • The introduction of a new Working Credit and Literacy and Numeracy Supplement, which increases the financial rewards for those people who are working and undertaking language, literacy and/or numeracy training.

“We want to put the emphasis on people’s abilities – not their disabilities.”

“The Government is committed to working closely with the community sector, business and individuals to ensure that people with disabilities achieve real gains,” Senator Vanstone said.