Today is a historic day, the release of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
This moment is a testament to the leadership, advocacy and sheer determination of disabled people dedication of disabled people across Australia who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The Greens are calling on the Albanese Government to commit to chart and fund a clear action plan to achieving disability justice in Australia.
There are three immediate actions the government must take now:
- The establishment of a Federal Minister for Disability. The community must have someone focused solely on disability issues, and accountable to the disability community at the ballot box.
- The establishment of a dedicated, ongoing mechanism through which disabled people can continue to report their experiences of abuse and neglect and one that can undertake investigations and have consequences.
- Prioritise collective liberation and an end to segregation including immediately raising the disability support pension, and ending segregation in all settings.
Lines attributable to Senator Jordon Steele-John, Australian Greens spokesperson on Disability Services, Health and Mental Health:
“The conclusion of the Disability Royal Commission marks a significant milestone for disabled people in this country. Reflecting on how far we’ve come together, I’m deeply proud of what we’ve achieved – for disabled people, by disabled people.
"The disability community has done our bit, now it's time for Federal and State Governments to do theirs.
“While the Royal Commission has finished its work, the violence and abuse continues daily. This is why we are calling for urgent action. We will not let abled-bodied politicians put this report and its recommendations on a shelf to collect dust. The violence and abuse continue, the job for the government is just beginning, and the community are united in our call for urgent reform.
“The only acceptable response to the profound injustices uncovered by the Royal Commission is action.
“We need the Government to commit funding for the radical transformation that is needed across this country to end ableism and discrimination. We need a Minister for Disability whose job it is to ensure this reform happens. We need collective liberation; immediately raise the DSP, and put an end to segregation in our workplaces, our schools and our homes.
“Disabled people will no longer accept being kept out of view; we will not accept being restrained to our beds, we will not accept being locked in institutions and we will not accept abelism and segregation at the hands of government policies any longer.
On Segregated Schooling
“The report recommends waiting until 2051 to end segregated schooling. This is widely inadequate. We can not as a society allow children, for another 30 years, to be separated from their peers. This is beyond shameful.
On Segregated Employment
“I am pleased there is agreement that Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE’s) must end. Now we have that agreement, I want to see the government lead this transition, immediately.
“I am deeply disappointed in the recommendation relating to equal pay. The report recommends a transition to the full minimum wage for disabled people by 2034. Our community deserve better, we deserve at the very least to receive the minimum wage for our work. If the Labor government was serious about addressing discrimination that would ensure all workers in this country are paid the minimum wage."
On the Recommendation of an Establishment of National Disability Commission and a Disability Rights Act
“We support the establishment of a new complaints mechanism for disabled people to report their experiences of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. This must be a broad, independent commission and we must ensure that those who continue to exploit and abuse disabled people will face the consequences.
“The Disability Rights Act needs to apply to both public and private sectors from its commencement, with no caveats and no delays. It must uphold the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)."