Release type: Media Release

Date:

Disability Employment Strategy consults in Perth

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O'Connor, today visited Grand Toyota Wangara to discuss ways to increase employment of people with disability and/or mental illness.

This visit was part of consultations held in Perth today for the Rudd Government's National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy.

The strategy is looking at addressing the barriers people with disability and/or mental illness face in finding and retaining a job.

"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.

"We want people to share their first hand knowledge with the Government so that the strategy can not only identify barriers but also address them in a practical and effective way."

Mr O'Connor and Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Children's Services, Bill Shorten earlier this month released a discussion paper on the issue, and are now calling for submissions.

"Automotive Holdings Group dealership, Grand Toyota Wangara together with its sub branch in Clarkson employs over 140 people and is a great example of a West Australian employer which is successfully employing people with a disability or mental illness," Mr O’Connor said.

"Twenty-three year old Brant Garvey is an ex-Paralympian amputee who is working as an apprentice mechanic at Grand Toyota.

"The strategy aims to encourage more employers to employ people with a disability or mental illness by addressing myths about increased risks and costs, and increasing awareness of the benefits."

Submissions close on June 30. Copies of the discussion paper and more information on the strategy is available at www.deewr.gov.au/employmentstrategy