Coalition government must commit to a royal commission into violence & abuse of people with disability

Media release

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) commends the Senate for approving the motion last Thursday, from Green’s Senator Jordon Steele-John, to establish a Royal Commission (RC) into violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of people with disability in institutional and wider community settings across Australia.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten personally pledged his and the ALP’s commitment to a Royal Commission back in 2017, which we also commend. This has been followed up with an election promise of $26 million to get the Commission going; the ALP also supported the recent Senate motion along with others from the crossbench.

Mr Ross Joyce Chief Executive Officer of AFDO advised, “Today the Prime Minister and Coalition Government have a real chance to now demonstrate their true leadership, to hear and acknowledge the request from the wider Australian community and people with disability, and to vote in favour of this Royal Commission.”

Make no mistake, we need the Government to also commit to an immediate start on the RC, not to delay until after an election, or to put it off further as we, people with disability, have waited far too long, the time has come!” said Sue Salthouse, Chair of Women with Disabilities ACT.

Mr Joyce said, “Only a strong signal of support and action from the Coalition Government will be acceptable to the people with disability, their supporters, the disability sector and millions of ordinary Australians who are appalled by the stories of the continuing violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect which has to stop.

We will be there Prime Minister for the vote, and we hope you and your Government will listen and support those who are some of the most disadvantaged and disempowered Australians to be given a voice at last.”

For more information, please contact Mr Ross Joyce on 0402 842 040.

About AFDO

Since 2003, the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), a Disabled Peoples Organisation (DPO) and recognised Disability Representative Organisation (DRO), has been the recognised national peak organisation in the disability sector, along with its disability specific members, representing people with disability.

AFDO’s mission is to champion the rights of people with disability in Australia and support them to participate fully in Australian life.

As one of the three founding members of the National Disability and Carer Alliance, AFDO played a key role in the campaign for the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) through its “Every Australian Counts” campaign.  As the NDIS has moved through the trial phase and begun the transition to full scheme, AFDO and its members have continued to work constructively with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) as well as Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to provide critical feedback and address implementation issues as they arise.

Our member organisations represent disability specific communities with a total reach of over 1,700,000 Australians.

AFDO’s members include:

Blind Citizens Australia

Brain Injury Australia

Deaf Australia

Deafblind Australia

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia

Women with Disabilities Victoria

Down Syndrome Australia

Physical Disability Australia

Disability Advocacy Network Australia

Disability Justice Australia

Disability Resources Centre

Inclusion Australia (NCID)

People with Disabilities ACT

Enhanced Lifestyles

Deafness Forum of Australia

People with Disabilities WA

Women with Disabilities ACT


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