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Monday, 21 November 2011
Page: 8981

Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (13:38): I do not accept your point but I understand it. But a number of decisions that this government has made will make it harder for people to get the disability support pension. More people are now subject to participation require­ments. More people will not have the required number of points through the impairment tables. While I understand the point that you are making, I do not accept it, because there are going to be an increasing number of people subject to participation requirements and who are going to be disadvantaged because they live in regional and rural areas that do not have access to good public transport. They will find it harder to meet their participation requirements.

I am aware that a mobility allowance is provided and that there are various state programs. This is not adequate. People living with disability have told us that this sort of support is not adequate. The public transport systems in these areas are not adequate. We know that there are a number of people living in regional areas and areas fringing metropolitan areas because it is cheaper to live in those places. We know that that is the case and yet there are going to be an increasing number of people disadvantaged by this. That is why I asked the question. I know that we are talking specifically about the implementation of impairment tables. But that begs this question: when will you look at the cumulative impact on people living with disability of all the decisions being made by government?