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Empowering disability support through inclusive and responsive legislation

Assistant helping disabled woman in wheelchair move around city

Australians with disabilities will benefit from the commencement of the new Disability Services and Inclusion Act 2023.

The new Act strengthens quality and safeguard arrangements for people with disability outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

It replaces the Disability Services Act 1986, which is no longer fit to meet the needs of people with disability.

The Act introduces a mandatory code of conduct for all Commonwealth disability services. People with disability can now have confidence in a safer and more responsive system that will hold service providers to account.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said this flexible and contemporary Act supports the Albanese Labor Government’s commitment to the full participation of people with disability in Australian communities.

“Community expectations have shifted significantly over the past 35 years. The previous Act embedded segregation into legislation, the new one has a strong focus on inclusion and broadens the type of supports and services that the Governments can provide,” Minister Rishworth said.

Minister Rishworth said the Act helps support the safeguarding of people with disability following the release of the Final Report into the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

“The Government has embedded human rights principles into legislation and listened to the perspectives of people with disability throughout the drafting stages to ensure that Commonwealth supports and services are responsive and create meaningful change,” Minister Rishworth said.

Minister Rishworth said the Act provides a contemporary legal framework enabling the Government to deliver measures consistent with the vision of Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-31 and its five Targeted Action Plans.

“Australia’s Disability Strategy is our roadmap to supporting people with disability to participate as equal members of our communities.

“Consistent with the Strategy, the Government will continue to drive improved accessibility and inclusion in Commonwealth services and across the Australian community,” said Minister Rishworth.

“Boosting employment opportunities, shifting community attitudes and improving the safety of people with disability are all top priorities for the Government.”

More information about Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 and the Targeted Action Plans is available on the Disability Gateway at www.disabilitygateway.gov.au/ads.

 

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