Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Calling for input to the National Disability Strategy

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Jenny Macklin, and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, Bill Shorten, today launched a discussion paper for the National Disability Strategy.

“To ensure the National Disability Strategy is practical and effective, the Australian Government, in consultation with State and Territory Governments, has developed a discussion paper to generate public comment,” Ms Macklin said.

“A series of public consultations will be held across the nation, starting in Darwin on the 27 October and finishing in Canberra on the 26 November. This will ensure that Australians across the nation have an opportunity to provide input and feedback.

“The Rudd Government recognises that many people with disability face barriers in society, and are struggling with cost of living pressures during this time of global financial uncertainty.”

For the first time, as part of the Economic Security Strategy, lump sum payments are being extended to include more than 700,000 Disability Support Pensioners. Carers will also benefit from the payments.

The lump sum payment of $1,400 to single pensioners and $2,100 to pensioner couples will be paid from the 8 December 2008.

These lump-sum payments are a down payment on long term reform, which will be delivered in the 2009-10 Budget context.

Mr Shorten said the National Disability Strategy was an election commitment of the Rudd Government to address the barriers faced by people with disability and promote social inclusion.

“It will be an important mechanism in ensuring the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are integrated into policies and programs affecting people with disability, their families and carers,” Mr Shorten said.

“We would like to hear from people with disability, their families and carers, the organisations which represent them, employers, trade unions, researchers, and anyone with an interest in creating a better Australia for people with disability.”

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations will also be conducting consultations in regional and remote areas, and will be seeking input from communities of interest such as culturally and linguistically diverse groups, women with disabilities and Indigenous people.

You will need to register to attend consultations in capital cities and regional areas by calling 1800 077 765.

Written submission can emailed to National Disability Strategy ( or posted to National Disability Strategy, PO Box 7442, Canberra Business Centre, ACT, 2610.

Submissions must be received by 5pm AEST Monday 1 December 2008.

Alternative formats such as Easy English version of the National Disability Strategy discussion paper are available at National Disability Strategy. Please call 1800 077 765 or 1800 555 677 (TTY) for alternative versions.

National dates and locations of consultations:
Location Date Time
Darwin 27 October 9am – 12noon
Sydney 5 November 10am – 1pm
Brisbane 6 November 10am – 1pm
Perth 10 November 10am – 1pm
Melbourne 12 November 1pm – 4pm
Hobart 14 November 11am – 2pm
Adelaide 24 November 10am – 1pm
Canberra 26 November 10am – 1pm
State break down of DSP recipients receiving the Government’s down payment on reform:
State Recipient Numbers
ACT 7059
NSW 232 817
Queensland 138 759
Victoria 175 292
SA 70 104
WA 58 609
Tasmania 25 347
NT 6883