State support grows for disability inquiry

Daniel McCulloch

SCOTT Morrison expects to secure terms of reference and state agreement for a royal commission into the disability sector before the federal election in May.

The prime minister predicts state and territory governments will come on board "within days", saying it is imperative they are involved.

"To not have those jurisdictions subject to the royal commission, I think, would impair it overwhelmingly," he said on Wednesday.

The prime minister does not technically need state support to launch the inquiry, but does want them to share the costs and responsibility.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has pledged $26 million to establish a disability royal commission.

Mr Morrison expects the costs to be much greater.

"I think it will be a royal commission of a similar size and standing as what we saw with institutional child sexual abuse," he said.

"I don't know what sort of royal commission he (Mr Shorten) was talking about but it clearly was not one that he'd properly thought through." The child abuse inquiry cost $372 million over five years.

Mr Morrison last week wrote to state and territory leaders seeking their support.

NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland have told the Commonwealth they will back an inquiry.

Western Australia has offered in-principle support.

"However, due to the state's budget situation, WA has not agreed to cost-sharing arrangements," a spokesman for the premier said.

Labor has accused the prime minister of haggling with the states and territories to "defer and delay" the royal commission.

"This is a cheapskate move," deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said. "This royal commission should be fully federally funded and Scott Morrison could easily set aside the money for this in the budget."

from https://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/story...


NT backing disability abuse RC

THE Northern Territory will support a royal commission into the disability sector.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week wrote to states and territories to request their support for the inquiry which will investigate abuse in disability care.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said Territorians with disabilities and their families needed to "have their voice heard on a national stage".

"Violence and abuse of some the most vulnerable people in our community is unacceptable," he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has pledged $26 million to establish a disability royal commission.

Mr Morrison expects the costs to be much greater.

"I think it will be a royal commission of a similar size and standing as what we saw with institutional child sexual abuse," he said.

from Northern Territory News, Darwin 28 Feb 2019, page 9