Union's Key Role In National Disability Scheme

The union movement has played a leading role in today's Federal Government move towards a national scheme for the estimated 2.3 million Australians with severe or profound disability.

The Disability Investment Group's report The Way Forward: A new disability policy framework for Australia, primary recommendation is for a national disability social insurance scheme would have a huge impact on the disabled including workers suffering catastrophic injury.

MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin who is Member of the National People with Disabilities & Carer Council has worked with former union leader Bill Shorten, now Parliamentary secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services to push for the change, helping frame policy at both the ALP national conference and the through the ACTU.

He described the Government policy is arguably the biggest national social policy change since Medicare - in effect a national insurance scheme which could be funded by a Medicare-style tax levy.

The report by the Government's Disability Investment Group has strongly backed the scheme slamming existing arrangements as a national disgrace.

A national scheme would provide lifetime care, rehabilitation and training tailored to the needs of individuals.

The federal government today announced the Productivity Commission would investigate a social insurance model, for funding and delivering long-term disability care and support.

The Disability Investment Group was established by Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities Bill Shorten

The report and membership of the Disability Investment Group can be downloaded here

The Way Forward: a new disability policy framework for Australia.