This year’s Budget is focused on creating opportunities that more Australians share in and ensuring that the services we rely on remain strong and sustainable into the future.
The Albanese Government has committed to support Australians with disability through a range of investments in:
- Employment and employment opportunities
- Better data collection so we can provide better services
- Early intervention for autism.
More than one in six people in Australia have disability, or 4.4 million Australians. This includes more than 2.2 million women and one in four First Nations people. After a decade of neglect under the previous government, the Albanese Government is working to improve the lives of people with disability.
The Federal Budget will invest $41 million through to 2025-26 to help strengthen the supported employment sector to provide people with disability and high support needs access a wider range of employment opportunities.
Around 160 supported employment organisations will have the opportunity to apply for grants to assist them in upskilling supported employees, building the capacity of their support workforce or implementing innovative business models.
This will provide 16,000 people currently in supported employment with greater employment stability as the sector is set up to respond to future challenges.
Better Data Collection
A National Disability Data Asset (NDDA) will also be formally established in collaboration with states and territories. A total of $31.4 million over four years will be provided by the Commonwealth.
When established, the NDDA will improve research, policy development, service delivery and ensure Government funding is best targeted. It will mean better, more responsive services for people who need them.
It will be co-governed between Commonwealth, state and territory governments – along with the disability community. Strong ethical oversight and privacy protections will be in place.
Autism Early Intervention
A total of $22.1 million will be invested over four years from 2023-24 to deliver two new pilots to help develop evidence-based approaches for early intervention for infants with early signs of autism.
This will complement the Government’s work in developing an Early Years Strategy, due for release by October this year, and the National Autism Strategy. The Commonwealth will collaborate with state and territory maternal and child health networks to implement these pilots.
A range of other investments will also be made to support the 4.4 million Australians with disability including:
- $10.2 million for the Central Coordination of Disability Policy with the aim of complementing work to respond to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
- $3.7 million to undertake consultation and research for the National Autism Strategy
- $3.2 million to the Complaints Resolution and Referral Service and the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline
- $1.2 million for the development of the National Roadmap to improve health and mental health of autistic people
The Disability Royal Commission estimated a $27.7 billion cost to the economy in 2021-22 as a result of failures to provide people with disability equal opportunity to participate in the economy and equal access to quality services.
The unemployment rate for Australians with disability has not shifted in thirty years, while life expectancy and quality of life outcomes are often lower.
The Albanese Government is working to close these gaps and create a more inclusive society that ensures all Australians with disability can fully participate and receive the support they need and opportunities they deserve.