Thursday, 14 February 2019
Before asking that the motion is taken as formal, I wish to inform the chamber that Senators Brown and Griff have been added to the motion. I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 1364 standing in my name and the name of Senators Brown and Griff, for today relating to the establishment of a royal commission to investigate the violence, abuse and neglect of disabled people.
Leave is granted.
I, and also on behalf of Senators Brown and Griff, move the motion as amended:
(1) That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) despite the hard-won progress of the disability rights movement, disabled Australians continue to be subjected to discrimination and are routinely denied the right guaranteed them under international law,
(ii) this discrimination creates and sustains the barriers to employment, education, transport, social and political participation experienced by disabled Australians and, most concerning, manifests itself in horrific violence, abuse and neglect to which they are subjected, and
(iii) from July to September 2018, over 184 incidents of abuse and neglect were reported to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (the Commission) – the Commission has also released data that shows in the same three months it received 62 reports of expected and unexpected deaths, 91 reports of injuries, 34 complaints against individual staff or service providers and 75 cases of unauthorised restrictive practices; and
(b) calls on the Government to request His Excellency the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia issue Letter Patent to establish a royal commission to inquire into violence, abuse and neglect of people with a disability.
(2) That a message be sent to the House of Representatives seeking its concurrence in this resolution.
The government continues to support and recognise the significant contribution of Australians with disability. The government is also engaging in real, immediate and substantial reform to prevent the abuse and neglect of people with disabilities as we roll out the NDIS, the most significant social reform to improve choice and control for people with disabilities in the service that they receive. The government is providing $209 million over four years to establish the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, which will address issues raised in recent inquiries, replacing a complex and fragmented system of quality and safeguards in each state and territory with a single national consistent approach under the NDIS.