10 May 2023
Life Without Barriers welcomes measures in the 2023 Federal Budget that focuses on key areas of social investment for people in vulnerable communities whilst acknowledging more work is needed to create greater equity in access to basic needs, employment and housing.
Chief Executive of Life Without Barriers, Claire Robbs said the organisation is enthusiastic about reforms to the NDIS and the government’s approach to bring the scheme’s focus back to those it was designed to support.
“The people we support have told us they want great services from providers they know are going to be around for the long term. That means Australia needs an NDIS that not only supports people with disability to live their best lives but also ensures that the funding, workforce and scheme that backs that support is sustainable in the long-term,” Ms Robbs said.
Ms Robbs also welcomed measures to address substantial gaps in the health and well being of First Nations peoples.
“It is positive to see a substantial commitment in the budget focus on direct investment into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities by delivering funding to drive progress on closing the gap measures. In particular, the impact of this budget’s investment in supporting high-quality culturally appropriate education for First Nations Children in remote areas across Australia should not be underestimated.
“I also want to commend the government on the much-needed boost to welfare payments we have seen in this budget. These payments have remained stagnant for far too long. There is still a way to go – cost of living continues to apply pressure, but this is a positive step and a sign the Labor Government is listening to the care sector.”
Manager, Strategic Engagement in Disability Employment at Life Without Barriers, Emma Bennison said it’s positive to see a budget that provides support to people looking to get into the workforce.
“It’s encouraging to see this government working towards delivering the commitments made at the Jobs and Skills Summit. This Budget outlines specific personalised support and mentoring aimed at increasing the diversity of the apprentice workforce, including upskilling apprentices with disabilities,” Ms Bennison said.
“Strengthening the supports available to people with disabilities is a critical part of making real progress on the employment barriers for people with disability.”
Beyond the measures outlined in the budget, Ms Bennison said there is action we can take now to disrupt long-standing barriers to employment and increase the representation of people with disability in influential roles across sectors.
“We want to see greater action across Government outside of the budget that shows opportunities being paved for people with disability in leadership positions – if we want to increase the genuine diversity and representation of our workforce and disrupt barriers to employment, we need Government to lead by example.”