The Government announced on 21 April 2004 its continuing support of a viable and sustainable disability employment sector. This measure provides a flexible support package to assist business services to improve their viability and to meet the costs of fairer, award based wages. It provides additional assistance to enable providers to offer quality services and allows businesses to phase in award based wages over time. The package also provides a case based funding price where disability employment services receive funding based on the individual support needs of their employees.
The measure will ensure that people with disabilities in business services will enjoy continued service, choices in their employment and payment of award wages in a quality environment. It will mean that no person with a disability will lose access to service as a result of changes made to business services in recent years. The measure will also ensure that no sole service in a town or region will close, providing security and continuity for people with disabilities living and working in those communities.
Disability employment assistance reform commenced in 1996–97 with a commitment to improve service quality and introduce case based funding based on individual support needs. Since 1996, the Government has increased funding for disability employment assistance by nearly 40 per cent.
The Government provided an additional injection of $161 million in the 2003–04 Budget for the disability employment sector. This included $25 million to help business services become, or stay viable.
The Government has already made a significant investment to increase the number of people supported by disability employment assistance from 63,000 people and a cost of $260 million in 2001–02 up to 90,000 people assisted in 2006–07 at a cost of $415 million.
1 July 2004.
Total Government Funding
$99.1 million over four years.