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January 2011



Recent Posts


 Parliament House, Canberra, Australia 


Last year the Rudd Government announced the start of what could become a once-in-a-generation chance to change the way we provide disability support in Australia. The Productivity Commission was asked to investigate the feasibility of a national long-term care and support scheme. That means looking at how we can better fund disability care and support in the future and whether other models, such as a national disability insurance scheme, might work in Australia.

The commission has now officially commenced the inquiry and called for submissions. It will also release an issues paper in May, followed by the first round of public meetings in June and July.

The commission has had a record number of expressions of interest for this stage of an inquiry and has already started receiving submissions.

I hope that you and other members of the disability community will let the commission know your thoughts and ideas about how the system should work. After all, you’re the ones who have the most first-hand experience of the problems.

This edition of the e-news also includes an update on the Younger People in Residential Aged Care program, a story on another new Autism Specific Early Learning and Childcare Centre and a report about a Human Rights Commission decision that upholds the rights of people with a disability to go to the movies.

More information on all of these stories is provided below. I hope you enjoy this edition of the Disability e-News.


Bill Shorten.

Have Your Say: Submissions Open For Productivity Commission Inquiry


Consultations have officially opened for the inquiry into a long-term care and support scheme, with the Productivity Commission inviting written submissions. The commission will also release an issues paper in May, with public meetings to follow in June and July.

A national disability insurance scheme has wide support amongst disability groups, but it’s a complex area that will require rigorous analysis before it can be implemented.

If have an interest in the future of disability support in Australia, then I would strongly encourage you to let the commission know your views.

Click here to read the media release

Click here to read a transcript of a recent interview on this issue

Click here to go to the Productivity Commission disability inquiry page

Younger People In Residential Aged Care Program Update

The number of young people with disability in aged-care nursing homes remains a major issue, despite good progress under a joint State-Federal program that began in 2006.

The newly-released mid-term evaluation of the Younger People with Disability in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) program shows where it is succeeding and where it can be improved. Over 300 people have been moved out or diverted from aged care since 2006, and the program is on track to reduce the number of younger people with disability in aged care by up to 689 by 2011.

But to ensure the program meets the different needs of people with a disability and their families, the Australian Government is providing $500,000 to the Young People in Nursing Homes National Alliance.

The alliance will consult widely, including with young people with disability and their families, and report back to the Government on the future direction of the program. We want to ensure that the States deliver this program as efficiently as possible, and in a way that meets the needs of younger people with disability.

Click here for the media release

Click here to read the full report at fahcsia.gov.au

Human Rights Commission Stands Up For Hearing And Vision Impaired Cinema-Goers

An application from the major cinema chains for a temporary exemption to the Disability Discrimination Act has been rejected.

Currently, less than 0.3% of all cinema sessions in Australia are accessible to people who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have vision impairments.

Technologies such as captioning and audio descriptions are already available, and the industry has a responsibility to make cinemas more accessible.

The commission’s reasons for the decision should be published on its website shortly.

Click here for the media release

Click here to go to the Human Rights Commission website

Other News

Click a headline to read the full story:

Government releases draft legislation reforming taxation treatment of special disability trusts
Autism advocates take to the streets to raise awareness

Click here for more media releases from billshorten.com.au

Latest Speeches

31 March 2010 – Speech – Opening of Neuromuscular Clinic at Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital
29 March 2010 – Speech – Roden Cutler Charities Bigroll BBQ in Sydney
29 March 2010 – Speech – Opening of Autism Childcare Centre in Brisbane

Click here to read more speeches and transcripts

Australian Coat of Arms


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