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Joint Media Release: Morrison Government invites Australians to shape the future of disability policy for 2020 and beyond

Federal Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher announced that from April, the Australian community can take part in national consultations to shape the future of Australia’s disability policy for 2020 and beyond.

The Strategy is a ten-year framework that seeks to drive a more inclusive approach to how all governments design policies and programs so that people with disability can participate in all areas of Australian life.

“Ten years ago the launch of the first National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 paved the way for major changes to the disability landscape in Australia,” Mr Fletcher said.

“With one-in-five Australians living with disability, it is critical for all Australians, and particularly those with a lived experience of disability have their say about the future policies of our nation,” Mr Fletcher said.

At the end of 2020, the current Strategy will come to an end.

Minister Fletcher said it was imperative that the feedback from the Australian community was factored into future policy-making.

“We want to provide an opportunity for the more than four million people with disability, as well as those who love and support them, to shape the new strategy and tell us what is important to people with disability.”

“All governments must work together to help people with disability take control of their lives and have equal access and opportunity. All Australian governments have agreed to work together to create a national disability strategy for beyond 2020,” Mr Fletcher said.

The consultation will also consider the findings and recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s Report of its Review of the National Disability Agreement as these are relevant to the design of a new strategy.

Today, as part of this ongoing commitment to improving outcomes for people with disability, the Australian Government has also announced $10.5 million in grants for initiatives to help  build inclusive communities, so people with disability can take control of their lives and have equal access and opportunity. 

The grants will contribute to outcomes under the current Strategy and build the foundation for delivery of a new strategy for 2020 and beyond.

Grants will be awarded to organisations or consortia for initiatives such as using new technologies, finding new ways to collaborate and form partnerships or making significant improvements to existing ways of working.

“We welcome innovative applications in all areas such as housing, transport and assistive technology as well as initiatives that recognise the diversity of people with disability,” Mr Fletcher said.

The grants will open in the second half of this year and provide funding to successful applicants until 30 June 2021.

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability, Sarah Henderson, said the disability policy landscape has changed significantly since the National Disability Agreement and the National Disability Strategy began and it is vital people with disability have a leading role in modernising the policies and programs which affect them.

“As we approach another decade we need to ensure our policies and programs reflect the changed environment and build on opportunities available today as well as what may emerge over the next decade," Ms Henderson said.

“Consultation on the new strategy starts today with the Australian Government hearing from national peak organisations representing people with disability.”

“There will be many ways for everyone to have their say, including completing an online survey or participating in face-to-face or online community workshops in your state or territory,” said Ms Henderson.

For more information about how you can get involved in shaping the national disability strategy beyond 2020, to register for a workshop near you or to complete the online survey, visit https://engage.dss.gov.au