Productivity Commission to Review the Disability Discrimination Act

Media release

This media release was issued at the commencement of the Review of the Disability Discrimination Act public inquiry on 6 February 2003.

The Commonwealth Government has asked the Productivity Commission to conduct an inquiry into the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and associated regulations. The Commission is required to report to the Government by 5 February 2004.

The Commission will examine the social impacts of the legislation on people with disabilities and on the community as a whole. It will consider whether the objectives of the legislation — including eliminating discrimination on the grounds of disability — have been achieved. It will also examine the legislation’s impact on competition and whether amendments to the legislation are warranted.

The Government has not asked the Commission to inquire into government disability services, but these may be relevant where the legislation has implications for their delivery.

The Presiding Commissioner, Helen Owens, said the Commission would be consulting widely. She strongly encouraged public participation in the inquiry. 'This is a chance to tell the Commission how well the Disability Discrimination Act is working, what the social and economic effects are, and how the legislation might be improved.'

The inquiry is particularly relevant for people with disabilities, their associates and representatives, service providers, businesses and those involved in overcoming disability discrimination. Interested parties are invited to make submissions and to attend public hearings.

To assist the Commission, the Government has appointed Dr John Paterson as an Associate Commissioner for the duration of the inquiry.

The Commission will publish an issues paper shortly and will be holding hearings in May. A draft report is planned for September 2003. Further information, and online registration, are available on the inquiry home page at

Leonora Nicol, Media and Publications 02 6240 3239 / 0417 665 443