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Created: 30 November 2016

National disability groups are calling on Federal Senators to block a Bill that will reduce transport support for people with disability.

The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Transition Mobility Allowance to the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Bill 2016, currently before the Senate, will restrict access to essential transport funding to only those eligible for the NDIS. The Bill has been to the Senate Community Affairs Committee, where people with disability gave extensive evidence about the problems with the legislation, which was not accepted by the Government. This Bill will impact the hundreds of thousands of people with disability who will not have access to the NDIS, including people over 65.
 
“People with disability face significant barriers to accessing transport which can limit their ability to work, participate in education or other community and economic activities. The current Mobility Allowance is already inadequate to cover the full cost of transport for many people – this Bill will make things much harder,” says Ms Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager: Employment and Social Inclusion, People with Disability Australia.
 
“The labour force participation rate for people with disability is 53 per cent, which is far lower than for the remainder of the population at 83 per cent. Despite all the talk of jobs at this year’s election, it seems this is only the case if you can get yourself to and from work without support,” says Ms Karen Knight, General Manager for Advocacy and Engagement, Vision Australia.
 
“Many people with disability find that a lack of accessible public transport can be a major barrier to employment. The Mobility Allowances goes some way to address the additional expense of private transport to work for many people with disability which can often result in them actually being worse off financially,” said Ms French.

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