The Hon Christian Porter MP
The Hon Jane Prentice MP
Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the commencement of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, which protects and promotes equal rights, equal opportunities and equal access for Australians with disabilities.
People with disabilities are highly valued members of Australian families, communities and workplaces, and make a positive contribution to the diversity of cultural and community life in Australia. The Disability Discrimination Act has had a tangible impact on the lives of Australians with disabilities, and laid a solid foundation for the Australian Government's commitment to upholding their rights and freedoms.
Today's anniversary is an ideal time to reflect upon the successes we have had to date in improving the lives of people with disabilities, and the ongoing efforts in continuing to advance equal access and participation for all Australians in schools, the workplace and the broader community.
The Act seeks to eliminate direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of disability in areas of life including employment, education, accommodation, provision of goods and services and participation in activities. It seeks to ensure equality before the law for people with disability and to promote community recognition of the rights of people with disability.
The Act also created the position of Disability Discrimination Commissioner, which plays an invaluable role in promoting understanding of, and compliance with, the Act and engaging with people with disability to address discrimination in the workplace and in the community.
Since the Act commenced, Australian has continued to demonstrate its commitment to ending disability discrimination, including by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008. Australia will provide its combined second and third report under the Convention to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in September this year.
The Turnbull Government continues to consult with people with disability and the wider community and to work closely with the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Alastair McEwin, to better understand their needs and to protect and promote their rights and freedoms.