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Continuity or Change? Disability Policy and the Rudd Government

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2012

Karen Soldatic
Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University of Technology E-mail:
Barbara Pini
The John Curtin Institute of Public Policy, Curtin University of Technology E-mail:


This article reports on shifts and continuities in policy relating to disabled people and the administrative apparatus of federal disability policy under the Rudd government (2007–10). It begins with a brief historical overview of disability policy in Australia. It then gives particular attention to highlighting the contentious and dramatic changes to disability policy which were instigated by the Howard government (1996–2007). Following this, attention is focused on the major developments in disability policy and administration with the election of the Rudd Labor government in 2007. Through this discussion, we demonstrate the ways the altered vocabularies, practices and instruments of the state have manifested in relation to disability policy in Australia, ultimately shaping opportunities for either inclusion or exclusion at the national level among disabled people.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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