Statement by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Budget 2009-10 Disabilities Statement

*Check against delivery*

Hi, I’m Bill Shorten, the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services.

Every Australian deserves a fair go.

People with disability should be able to participate socially and economically, and have the same chance to get an education and a job as the rest of our society.

We’re reforming the pension system to make it secure, sustainable and fair and we’ve delivered on our promise for a pension increase. We’ve made sure that disability support pensioners and their carers – who are so often ignored – receive their fair share in this comprehensive package.

In this budget we have built on our achievements in getting a better deal for people with disability, and providing them with more services that support them and enable them to achieve their potential.

We have invested $9.3 million over four years for an extra 250 Outside School Hours Care places for teenagers with a serious disability or medical condition.

We will also introduce a National Disability Parking Permit scheme, a $3 million initiative, which will enable over 800,000 people with disability to receive a new, standardised parking permit.

The National Companion Card Scheme will also be expanded across the country to enable people with disability and their carers to attend sporting and entertainment events for the cost of one ticket, rather than two.

The Rudd Government is also supporting Australians affected by disasters including the devastating Victorian bushfires, the North Queensland floods, the South East Queensland storms and the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

So far we have committed $131 million for disaster relief and will continue to support Australians in need both in Australia and overseas.

You can find more detail on the Government’s budget measures at the Budget website (