Royal Commission into disability services looking likely

MPs are expected to vote in support of a royal commission into the disability sector today, after a motion was successfully moved in the Senate last week.

Greens senator Jordon Steele-John who uses a wheelchair and has long advocated for the rights of people with disability, introduced the motion calling for an investigation into violence, abuse and neglect of people with a disability at the hands of service providers.

“We know that everyday disabled people in our workplaces, in our homes, where we learn, are subject to violence neglect and horrendous exploitation,” Mr Steele-John said. 

“We are talking about murder, we are talking about terrible acts of sexual violence,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

“These are the most horrendous, horrendous forms of abuse that exist in Australian society and there is a real need for us to get to the bottom of these issues with the investigative powers of a royal commission.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the federal government would develop the royal commission’s terms of reference in consultation with the states and advocates in the disability sector.

“We want to make sure that anything further we do in this area is done with that well-considered terms of reference and directions to ensure that it can do its job,” Mr Morrison said.

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

Opposition leader, Bill Shorten said the case for a royal commission into preventing abuse and neglect and violence against Australians living with a disability is tremendously overdue.


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