18 May That didn’t go as planned
The Liberal National Party Coalition are still the Government of the Day.
People in our community are hurting today.
People in other communities are also hurting.
My inbox proves that people are nervous about the impact this may have on their daily lives. Changes to NDIS and Centrelink can really hurt our community.
So, what do we do?
In the lead in to the Federal Election, ScoMo and the LNP told us what they would do for people with disability if they remained the Government of the Day. The highlight of their plan, from my perspective, is:
Introduce a new 7 per cent employment target for people with disability across the Australian Public Service (APS) by 2025.
There is a bunch of other stuff – you can read the whole document here. Many of the things on that list will happen naturally, particularly around the NDIS.
But this. A commitment to employing people with disability.
This will take a lot of work; and will make a huge difference to people – if it gets implemented and actioned.
When the APS Aboriginal Employment Strategy was launched in 2015, the wording was far more action orientated (you can read the whole press release here):
The Government’s goal is to increase the representation of Indigenous employees across the Commonwealth public sector to three per cent by 2018.
We have work to do.
- We need to transform a thought bubble “introduce a target” into an actionable Employment Strategy.
- We need to prepare our community so that people with disability are APS workforce ready.
- We need to take on disincentives within the current Centrelink rules where people who have significant physical disability (which typically translates into higher personal expenses) lose part of their DSP when they get paid employment; yet people who are blind do not lose any DSP.
- We need to ensure that all types of disability will be represented in APS employment. At the moment, the APS relies on people self-identifying as having a disability. Anecdotally, this translates to a lot of people with medical issues (asthma, Chrohns) being counted as employees with disability. We have seen this behaviour in Para-Sport where only the most “functional” of each class make their way through to elite levels.
This is a future worth fighting for.
Genuine employment opportunities raise our community out of poverty.
The current Government of the Day has laid the groundwork for us to insist they follow through.
Let’s take control of this opportunity.