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Disability Royal Commission Update

Following on from yesterday’s Parliamentary proceedings, it seems that a Royal Commission into the Violence, Abuse and Neglect of Disabled Persons in institutionalised settings is progressing.

On Thursday (14th February), the Senate passed a motion calling on the Government to establish a royal commission into abuse in the disability sector, and it was expected to be introduced into the Lower House on Thursday afternoon.

However, in the longest Question Time that the Australian Parliament has ever seen, the establishment of the inquiry stalled. Despite the politicking and tactics present in Question Time on Thursday, there still seems to be bipartisan support for a Disability Royal Commission, with the vote likely to succeed when federal parliament resumes on Monday (18th February).

Youngcare supports any motion that sets to increase and promote independence, dignity and choice for all young people with disabilities across the country. The prevalence and frequency of abuse, neglect and mistreatment of people with disabilities in Australia is absolutely unacceptable. We believe that every person, regardless of their care needs, deserves control over how they live their lives.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a royal commission should be called in the proper way, not through an unexpected vote in parliament. He said the coalition was already reforming disability care with new safeguards against abuse; however it was not the end of the matter.

“I will remain open to every single option there is to provide support to people with disabilities,” Mr Morrison said.

The opposition’s chief tactician Tony Burke has confirmed Labor’s support on this issue.

“We would not have gone to such lengths today, were we not confident we could form a majority,” he told reporters afterwards.

Greens Senator, Jordan Steele-John, who has been the driving force behind the proposed Royal Commission, has stated that today he has sent a draft Terms of Reference to the Prime Minister. This outlines the scope of the proposal and should result in further action.

Youngcare expects to hear more about this issue as the week progresses and will continue to advocate for people with disabilities around the country.

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