Minister Rishworth interview on Triple M with Celeste Mitsiou


CELESTE MITSIOU: This seems like a bit of a rort and surely it slashes some confidence for people?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: We're very concerned that we have a small element of DES services that are not finding people with a disability at job. That's why we've taken action – where about six per cent of DES services will be discontinued because they've been providing poor quality and not achieving outcomes. And we what we will do is transfer about 15,500 people living with a disability on to better services because that's what they deserve.

CELESTE MITSIOU: It's definitely some strong action by Labor today. So what can we expect moving forward?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: Well, moving forward, we will continue to make sure that our Disability Employment Services are providing people with a disability the best possible service so going forward we will be discontinuing these poor performing services. We will be supporting those living with a disability to move on to better services and while they're in that transition, any mutual obligations or any other requirements will be suspended for those individuals. We believe this type of action is warranted and we'll be working with individual people to make sure that they get a good service.

CELESTE MITSIOU: How can we make sure that something like this doesn't happen again?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: We are continuing to look at the DES system - the Disability Employment Service system - and we want to make sure it's fit for purpose. So over the coming months, we will be looking carefully at this system. I do need to recognise there are some great providers doing a great job. What we need to make sure is that those services are properly supported and encouraged. Not the poor performing ones.

CELESTE MITSIOU: Was this a failure of the previous government or how did this sort of come about?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: Look, this has been an ongoing issue, I think, for a number of years really about trying to find good quality in our Disability Employment Services. So I would say that this is something that needs careful attention, and it needs ongoing oversight, and we will keep doing that.

CELESTE MITSIOU: Okay, great. Thank you.