Page 4177 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 26 November 2013
certainly willing to make a valuable contribution to the community. Nonetheless, we welcome any reduction in this burdensome tax.
It also leaves a lot to be desired that the government is still trailing substantially in their disability employment strategy in the ACT, a strategy that was established in 2010 to see the number of people working in the ACT public service double by 2015. Based on the annual reports at the end of this financial year, the current head count in the ACT public service is only 384 people that identify as having a disability. That is well short of the target of 506.
If the government is unable to lead by example in supporting and promoting the valuable contribution that people with a disability can make to the workforce, I think that the private sector is going to have to pick up that slack and do it themselves. As I mentioned before, we will be supporting this bill. I look forward to more initiatives coming from this government that will support people that have a disability.
MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Disability, Children and Young People, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (10.52): I commend Minister Barr for bringing this bill to the Assembly. It is a bill that will make a real, positive impact on the lives of young people with a disability. The payroll tax concession that this bill provides is one that the ACT Labor government took to last year’s election following consultation with families and carers about the sorts of things that they thought could improve the lives of young people with a disability as they make that transition from school to adulthood, a transition that all young people find daunting and challenging, but even more so for those with a disability that may not have the same opportunities.
This policy arose from conversations with families around what supports the ACT government can provide to offer a meaningful pathway for their children as they transition from school. Today we deliver on that commitment. We have listened and we have delivered. This initiative was part of a comprehensive disability policy framework that we provided to Carers ACT as part of their pre-election publication What carers want! It is interesting to note that Mr Wall believes this only goes some way. This was part of a comprehensive package of pre-election commitments to support people with a disability.
I just ask Mr Wall to go back and have a look at the publication from Carers ACT What carers want! In that publication there is a stark contrast to that contributed by the Canberra Liberals, whose contribution to that publication was “the community services policy will be released soon”.
It is 12 months, Mr Wall. There still has not been any commitment, any policy framework, anything that has come from your side, Mr Wall, that actually has a real and meaningful difference for young people with a disability in their transition from school into the workforce. Mr Wall, I will let you ponder that, because it is indeed a stark difference.