1 Introduction and terms of reference
The Disability Inclusion Act 2018 (the Act) is an important part of South Australia’s legislative scheme that is designed to promote the full inclusion within the South Australian community of people with disability, to promote, support and enhance the ability of people with disability to achieve their full potential as equal citizens, and generally to promote the wellbeing of people with disability through social inclusion.
The Act is intended to promote the recognition of essential human rights in South Australia in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and interacts with national strategies such as Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021 – 2031 and other schemes such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
As stated in the Second Reading speech at the time of the introduction of the relevant legislation to the South Australian Parliament, the Act is underpinned by a range of rights‑based principles that reflect the tone of the UNCRPD and the predecessor document to Australia’s Disability Strategy (the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020). These principles are based on a recognition that while people with disability have the same fundamental human rights as others, they often experience difficulty exercising their rights because of the inaccessibility of things such as built form, cultural approaches or a range of other limitations. Through these principles, the Act gives visibility to the issues faced by people with disability. (See The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink (Minister for Human Services), Legislative Council debates, 9 May 2018 at page 102.)
Section 32 of the Act requires the Minister to whom the administration of the Act is vested to cause a review of the operation of the Act to be conducted and a report on the review to be prepared and submitted to the Minister before the fourth anniversary of the commencement of the Act. The person appointed to conduct the review is Richard Dennis AM PSM (the reviewer). Richard Dennis was South Australian Parliamentary Counsel from 2006–2015.
The Act commenced on 1 July 2018, and so the Minister for Human Services has initiated this review so that the results of the review can be reported to the Parliament and the community in 2022, as required by section 32.
This is important legislation and so the important opportunities that the review presents should not be underestimated.
1.2 Terms of reference
Section 32 of the Act provides that the review will be of “the operation of this Act”.
In addition to broadly considering the operation of the Act, the review will consider:
- how well is the operation of the Act achieving or supporting the objects of the Act;
- the extent to which the principles set out in section 9 of the Act are being recognised and applied in the operation, administration and enforcement of the Act;
- initiatives that could be adopted to enhance the alignment of the Act with Australia’s Disability Strategy;
- the work of the department in fulfilling various functions under section 10;
- consideration of how effective the State Disability Inclusion Plan, and the disability access and inclusion plans, have been to date in supporting the objects of the Act, recognising that there is a separate scheme for the review of these plans under sections 15 and 18 of the Act;
- any changes that should be considered for Part 5A of the Act. In considering the effectiveness of the Act, the reviewer considers that there is some benefit in aligning aspects of the review with the themes and priorities that have been adopted by Inclusion SA on the basis of what people with disabilities have previously identified as being important to them. It would therefore be useful to receive specific comment or information about the extent to which the Act has assisted in promoting the following themes and priorities associated with disability inclusion in South Australia:
- Inclusive communities for all
- Leadership and collaboration
- Accessible communities
- Learning and employment
1.3 Date for responses
The reviewer would appreciate your views on the matters raised by this paper.
10 May 2022.
Responses and submissions for the purposes of the review should be: