Disability Royal Commission's Final Report and Recommendations

Today in Parliament Abigail's motion passed unanimously, calling on the NSW Government to step up and do their part to consider the Disability Royal Commission's recommendations.

Abigail's motion is as follows:

(1) That this House notes that on 29 September 2023 the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability handed down its final report, which made 222 recommendations designed to achieve a more inclusive society that supports the independence of people with disability and their fundamental right to live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, including the following key recommendations relating to State and Territory governments:

(a) State and Territory governments should ensure that under their jurisdiction there is a designated focal point for matters relating to implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [CRPD] by the end of 2024;

(b) State and Territory governments should review and update their disability strategies and plans to ensure they reflect the issues raised and recommendations made by the Royal Commission, to be completed by mid-2025;

(c) States and Territories which have not already done so should review and reform their guardianship and administration legislation to include supported decision-making principles;

(d) State and Territory governments should ensure that public trustees' fees and charges have been independently reviewed since 2019, and where such a review has not been conducted since that time, governments should arrange a comprehensive review of the fees and charges payable by people under administration orders to the public trustee in their jurisdiction;

(e) State and Territory governments should establish and fund specialised health and mental health services for people with cognitive disability by September 2026;

(f) State and Territory governments should immediately adopt the list of prohibited forms of restrictive practices agreed by the former Disability Reform Council in 2019, provide that the use of seclusion on children and young people is not permitted in disability service settings, and set out strict guidelines for the use and prohibition of restrictive practices in health, mental health and education settings;

(g) State and Territory governments should establish sector-specific targets and performance indicators to drive the reduction and elimination of restrictive practices over time for disability, health, education and justice settings, and these targets and performance indicators should be established by 1 July 2025 at the latest;

(h) State and Territory educational authorities should review all regulations, rules, procedures and other instruments regulating exclusionary discipline;

(i) the Education Ministers' Meeting should publicly release a "National Roadmap to Inclusive Education" for students with disability and report annually on progress against agreed milestones;

(j) State and Territory governments should adopt specific and disaggregated targets to increase the proportion in the public sector of employees with disability at entry and graduate levels, at executive levels, and employees with cognitive disability;

(k) State and Territory government departments and agencies should be required to set a target to ensure that a proportion of new public service hires to their respective workforce are people with disability, and the target should be at least 7 per cent by 2025 and should increase to at least 9 per cent by 2030;

(l) State and Territory governments should commit to increasing the availability and supply of accessible and adaptive housing for people with disability by:

(i) immediately adopting the mandatory Australian Building Codes Board [ABCB] Livable Housing Design Standard for all new dwellings, and developing a plan form the full implementation of the standard, including timeframes and outcomes measures; and

(ii) adopting the voluntary ABCB Livable Housing Design Standard for all new social housing construction;

(iii) auditing the demand for, and accessibility of, current crisis housing (including domestic and family violence shelters and refuges, and natural disaster crisis accommodation) to determine the appropriate amount, location and cost of crisis housing required to meet the needs of people with disability.

(m) State and Territory governments should commit to phasing out group homes, either in stages or within the next 15 years;

(n) States and Territories should introduce legislation to prohibit solitary confinement, and prohibit isolation as punishment, in youth justice settings, and should review legislation, policy and procedures to ensure children with disability are not subjected to isolation practices amounting to solitary confinement;

(o) the New South Wales, South Australian, Victorian and Western Australian governments should review and fund their existing court-based diversion programs for people with cognitive disability charged with offences that can be heard in local or magistrates courts to ensure they are accessible and culturally appropriate, provide support for defendants to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme [NDIS], and satisfy service needs, including connecting defendants to appropriate education, housing, employment and other services;

(p) States and Territories that have not already done so should introduce legislation to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 14;

(q) States and Territories should amend their legislative definitions of family and domestic violence such as in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) to include all relationships in which people with disability experience family and domestic violence, including but not limited to carer and support worker relationships, disability-based violence and abuse, and all domestic settings, including but not limited to supported accommodation such as group homes, respite centres and boarding houses;

(r) State and Territory governments should work with First Nations child protection services, peak bodies and First Nations people with disability to co-design clear principles and guidelines for parenting capacity assessments for First Nations parents with disability in their jurisdiction, to ensure assessments are culturally appropriate;

(s) by the end of 2024, State and Territory governments should review the effectiveness of their strategies, if any, directed to providing and ensuring the cultural safety of First Nations people with disability in criminal justice settings, and in doing so take into consideration what the royal commission has heard about that issue;

(t) States and Territories should each establish or maintain an independent "one-stop shop" complaint reporting, referral and support mechanism to receive reports of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability; and

(u) State and Territory governments should each publish a written response to the royal commission's final report by 31 March 2024, indicating whether the recommendations are accepted, rejected or subject to further consideration, and include a plan for how the accepted recommendations will be implemented, the reasons for rejecting any recommendations, and a timeframe for any further consideration required.

(2) That this House:

(a) commends the work of everyone involved in the process of this royal commission, and acknowledges the courage of the many people with disability and their families who shared their knowledge and experience of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation with the royal commission;

(b) calls on the Government to carefully consider the royal commission's final report and, where possible, adopt the recommendations relating to the State Government; and

(c) calls on the Government to commit to ensuring all implementation be driven by genuine consultation with and leadership of people with disability.

 

Read the full transcript in Hansard here.

Join 49,990 other supporters in taking action