Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Rudd Government to improve Australia’s disability discrimination system

The Rudd Government will introduce legislative amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act in the Spring sittings of Parliament to implement recommendations made by the Productivity Commission in its 2004 review of the Act.”These amendments will strengthen and improve the Act, ensuring it continues to protect the human rights of people with disabilities,” Attorney-General Robert McClelland said.

Key amendments will clarify the obligation of employers, service providers and others to remove discriminatory barriers for people with disabilities.

“The Rudd Government is committed to ensuring people with disability are treated equally and not as second class citizens. It is unfortunate that the recommendations were left dormant for so long,” Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities Bill Shorten said.

The amendments to the Act that have been recommended by the Productivity Commission will enhance the operation of Australia’s federal anti-discrimination system.

These reforms build on other steps taken by the Rudd Government since the election to improve the lives of people with disabilities, including the development of a National Disability Strategy and today’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability.