Parliament: Questions Kelly's Asked

Employment of people with disabilities in the South Australian Public Service

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: I seek leave to make an explanation before asking the Minister for Public Sector Management questions relating to the employment of people with disabilities in the South Australian Public Service.

Leave granted.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: Last week the federal government released the ‘Characteristics of disability support pension recipients 2010′ report, which showed that the number of DSP recipients is rising, while media reports of the Senate estimates committee on 2 June indicate that fewer people on the DSP are working. While some demonise those on the DSP as being lazy, I believe that most of those people who are able to work do in fact seek employment but often find it too hard and find too many closed doors in their face.

My office is often contacted by many people with disabilities who are seeking work, like Deanna, who has a masters degree in social work and more than four years’ experience in volunteering but, despite her best efforts, she cannot find work. This government seems to recognise the importance of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The government’s strategic plan heralds its plan to double the number of people with disabilities in the South Australian public sector by 2014.

However, despite this, I have been unable to find any practical measures that the South Australian government is taking to employ people with disabilities in the public sector. I am particularly concerned about employment opportunities in the SA public sector for people with disabilities in view of reports that the Treasurer intends to slash another 400 positions in addition to the 3,750 slashed last year. My questions are:

  1. How many people with disabilities are employed in the SA public sector as at today’s date?
  2. How many people with disabilities were employed in the SA public sector as at 8 June 2010?
  3. Given the South Australian Strategic Plan target to ‘double the number of people with disabilities employed in the public sector by 2014’, what practical measures are being taken to achieve this goal?