MEDIA RELEASE: ROYAL COMMISSION INTO VIOLENCE, ABUSE, NEGLECT AND EXPLOITATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY

We acknowledge the Prime Minister’s announcement of the Royal Commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability – a critically important step for Australia.
 
People will now – finally – be listened to and believed.
 
It will be a difficult and traumatic process for many people – and it will be shocking and confronting for us all.
 
The mistreatment of Australians with disability is a national shame and this Royal Commission must be a turning point for our country.
 
It must lead to deep and lasting changes, not just in the way governments and services work – but in the way people with disability are regarded and included by society.
 
Labor is very disappointed that the terms of reference for the Royal Commission do not make any reference of the investigation of redress. This must be investigated as part of a process of justice and healing.
 
If Labor is successful at the next election, we will amend the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry to include redress.
 
People with disability, their families and advocates have long been campaigning for a Royal Commission. It is overdue.
 
Labor committed to a Royal Commission years ago – and a future Labor Government will make sure people have the support they need to fully participate in the inquiry.
 
We will also work urgently – alongside the Royal Commission – to get the NDIS back on track and improve support, accessibility and inclusion for people with disability. 
 
Australians with disability deserve full and equal citizenship. That means equal opportunities in all parts of life, including education, employment, health, justice and civil society.
 
We have a long, long way to go before we can claim Australia is a genuinely inclusive and accessible place. And this Royal Commission will play a critical role in leading the change people with disability, their families and carers have long deserved.