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Minister affirms commitment to continue work with the OECD.

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The Hon Brendan O'Connor

Minister for Employment Participation 06 August, 2008

Media Release

Minister affirms commitment to continue work with the OECD

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor, has outlined the Government’s strategies to

increase Australia’s employment participation during a meeting with Secretary-General of the Organisation

for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Mr Angel Gurria.

This is Mr Gurria’s first official visit to Australia as OECD Secretary-General.

Meeting in Melbourne, Mr O’Connor said the Australian Government was taking into account the OECD's

views in the development of a National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy.

The Strategy which is being developed with Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services,

Bill Shorten, will be released later this year.

"We know from our standing in OECD rankings that despite 17 years of strong economic growth, Australia is

ranked a disappointing 13 out of 19 OECD countries in employment rates for all people with a disability," Mr

O’Connor said.

"The Strategy will provide clear and practical steps that Government can take to overcome barriers that can

make it harder for people with disability and/or mental illness to gain and keep work.

"Australia has participated fully in the development of the OECD report Sickness, Disability and Work:

Breaking the Barriers released in 2007.

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"Australia uses the OECD as a source of information around good policy practice and we look forward to

continuing the strong relationship with the OECD."

The OECD is an organisation of 30 countries that provides a forum where governments can compare policy

experiences, seek answers to common problems, and seek solutions to major global challenges.

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