Royal Commission into abuse of people with disability needed

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) commends the Senate for approving the motion to establish a Royal Commission into abuse of disabled persons.


The motion last Thursday was 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.”


18 February 2019.