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Reforming WA’s disability legislation - have your say

  • WA's decades-old disability legislation to be reformed and modernised

  • Reformed legislation to promote inclusion and positive community attitudes relating to people with disability

  • A three-month consultation process is underway

  • Input is sought from people with disability, their families and carers, service providers, peak bodies and other stakeholders

A consultation process is underway to reform and modernise Western Australia's disability legislation.

The Disability Services Act 1993 is the current legislation relating to the provision and regulation of State-led disability services and related matters in WA.

The legislation is almost 30 years old and the State's disability sector has undergone significant change during this time.

Since then many eligible Western Australians have joined the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Disability Services Commission has become part of the Department of Communities, the Office of Disability was formed, 'A Western Australia for Everyone: State Disability Strategy 2020-2030' was published, and the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is ongoing.

The State Government recognises that consistent and contemporary reforms are needed in WA's disability legislation to ensure it meets the needs and expectations of today's community.

To enact these necessary changes, the Department of Communities is undertaking a project to reform the WA disability legislation.

The first stage is an engagement process in which all Western Australians can contribute to the discussion by identifying relevant concerns, solutions and ideas. A consultation paper has been developed as a general guide to the consultation.

Key issues for discussion in the Consultation Paper include:

  • the principles applicable to people with disability;

  • appropriate safeguards for people with disability;

  • the access and inclusion needs of people with disability; and

  • ongoing service provision for specific cohorts.

The consultation is open until 10 June 2023. For further information and to submit your feedback, visit https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-communities/have-your-say-reforming-western-australias-disability-legislation or contact the Reform Project Team on disabilitylegislationteam@communities.wa.gov.au or phone 0421 978 786.

Comments attributed to Disability Services Minister Don Punch:

"This is a timely opportunity to reform the disability legislation in WA. The daily experience of people with disability should be one of inclusion and positive community attitudes, and it is important that the WA disability legislation supports this position.

"I look forward to hearing from the community, including people with disability, their families and carers, service providers, peak bodies and other key stakeholders on how we can ensure the new legislation meets the modern needs and expectations of the community.

"The voice of lived experience is vital in this process, and I strongly encourage people from diverse backgrounds, locations and experiences to provide their feedback.

"This is imperative in ensuring we develop legislation that is responsive to experiences of people with disability and the intersection with other aspects of people's identity, such as gender, Aboriginality, ethnic background or age and stage of life."

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