April 28, 2016

A Shorten Labor Government will appoint a full-time Disability Discrimination Commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Discrimination against people with disability is still far too common in Australia. People with disability face discrimination in the workplace, when accessing services and in the community. 

Complaints relating to breaches of the Disability Discrimination Act are consistently the most common complaint received by the Commission.


That’s why Australia needs a dedicated Disability Discrimination Commissioner – because people with disability deserve a powerful voice to advocate their interests.

Upon taking office, a Shorten Labor Government will immediately begin the process of appointing a full-time Disability Discrimination Commissioner.


This position will replace the currently vacant Human Rights Commissioner position previously held by Liberal candidate Tim Wilson.


It says everything about the priorities of the Turnbull Government that they appointed a ‘Freedom Commissioner’ and a Commissioner for wind farms, but not a full-time Disability Discrimination Commissioner.


In the horror 2014 Budget, the Liberal Government cut funding for the Human Rights Commission and sacked Graeme Innes – Australia’s longest-serving Disability Discrimination Commissioner and a powerful advocate for Australians with disability, their families and carers.   


A Shorten Labor Government will right this wrong.


This change will result in the Age Discrimination Commissioner also returning to a full-time role, ending the forced sharing of the two job roles which has occurred under the Liberal Government.

Susan Ryan, Age Discrimination Commissioner, was forced to do both jobs at once – a difficult task which she has performed ably under immense pressure. But both positions deserve full-time attention.


The new Disability Discrimination Commissioner will have a special focus on removing barriers to employment for people with disability, and will work with business, governments and the community sector to boost job opportunities for Australians with disability.


Today’s announcement is just one part of Labor’s plan to strengthen the voices of Australians with disability.


A Shorten Labor Government will also provide an additional $2 million a year to peak disability advocacy organisations so that people with disability have the biggest say in the decisions and debates that affect their lives. 


Federal Labor has a proud record of delivering greater support for people with disability.

Labor designed, funded and introduced the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which is already transforming the lives of thousands of people with disability, their families and carers.

Only Labor puts people with disability first.



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