Amendment to the Social Services Bill: The Outcome for 2015

Dear ADJC Supporters,

I would like to just round out the year by advising you that the Amendment to the Social Services Bill was never voted on in the Senate with the Senate cross benchers along with the Greens and labour standing firm in there opposition to the Bill.

The Greens advised the ADJC that the Bill was longer on the government's legislative agenda for the Senate when the list appeared for the final sitting week of the 2015 Parliament. This means that people with mental health disorders and cognitive impairments detained in state and territory forensic systems who are participating in rehabilitation programs are still eligible to receive the Disability Support Pension. Of course 2016 is a new year and may bring new challenges on this issue.

The advocacy work on this campaign was led by Alison Xamon from the Western Australian Association of Mental Health, Nick Collyer from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, Patrick Keyzer from LaTrobe Law School, Tom Dalton from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health and Ian McKinlay from the ADJC. People with Disabilities Australia and First Peoples Disability Network and the National Welfare Rights Network also supported the campaign.

The ADJC would also like to acknowledge Senator Rachel Siewert from the Greens and Jenny Macklin Labour for their leadership in the Parliament on this issue.

Finally the ADJC would like to thank everyone who wrote letters and emails or made calls or distributed information about this campaign.

Kind Regards

Patrick McGee ADJC Coordinator 0448 610 105