On 3 March 2017, the Australian Government tabled its response to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee report: Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings.
The inquiry's headline recommendation called for the establishment of a Royal Commission into abuse and neglect of people with disability. This was rejected by the Government, who argued that sufficient protections were provided by the recently released NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework, particularly the nationally consistent worker screening scheme. This response is disappointing.
Last edition, NCOSS welcomed the release of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework. However, the Framework replicates systems that the Senate Inquiry demonstrated were inadequate, and only covers the minority of people with disability who will be eligible for the NDIS.
A royal commission has the investigative powers to uncover the full extent of abuse and violence against people with disability, while giving victims the much-needed opportunity to tell their stories.
The Senate inquiry made a range of recommendations about the need to increase the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP). We hope these recommendations are implemented in the review of the program, expected in August.