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PM calls on states and territories to get behind royal commission


Evelyn Lewin


27/02/2019 2:42:31 PM

NSW, Victoria and SA have backed Scott Morrison’s call to order a royal commission into the abuse of Australians with disability.

‘I think we can all agree that violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability is abhorrent and that we should be doing all we can,’ the PM wrote. (Image: Lukas Coch)
‘I think we can all agree that violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability is abhorrent and that we should be doing all we can,’ the PM wrote. (Image: Lukas Coch)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to order a royal commission into allegations of abuse against people with disability.
 
While he has repeatedly said he was never opposed to an inquiry, this is the first time the Prime Minister has confirmed he believes a joint royal commission is the best way to address concerns regarding this issue.
 
He has now written to the states and territories asking for their support in establishing a royal commission.
 
New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have confirmed their backing for the inquiry; however, a formal announcement is not expected until feedback has been provided from other states.
 
‘I think we can all agree that violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability is abhorrent and that we should be doing all we can to ensure a safe and secure Australia,’ Prime Minister Morrison wrote in his letter to states and territories.
 
‘It is crucial that all governments work closely and collaboratively to ensure a holistic response to this issue. Accordingly, I am now seeking your in-principle agreement for the establishment of a joint royal commission and the most appropriate consultation pathways to progress this important matter.’
 
Acting Chief Executive Officer of National Disability Services, David Moody, has welcomed this move.
 
‘We support a royal commission because we understand that people with disability, like everyone else in our community, have the right to live free of the fear of abuse or neglect,’ he said.
 
Labor first called for the inquiry in 2017. A Greens motion to establish the royal commission passed the Senate in early February and the Government supported the motion when it reached the House of Representatives last week.
 
This is the sixth judicial probe in Australia in as many years. The aged care royal commission is forecast to cost nearly $100 million over two years, while the banking royal commission has a budget of $75 million.
 
According to advocates, people with disability are 1.5 times more likely to experience abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation than people without disability.



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