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The final report was published in September with a response to the commission due on March 31 (Disability royal commission website)

Australia’s disability ministers will not provide their response to the landmark royal commission report until at least next month – seven months after the commissioners handed down their findings. Source: The Australian.

The shocking report, published last September, was the culmination of 4.5 years of investigation and nearly 10,000 testimonies and exposed widespread rates of abuse and neglect being experienced by millions of Australians living with disability.

The commissioners described systemic rates of violence and discrimination facing about 4.4 million Australians, highlighted shortcomings across all levels of society and handed down 222 recommendations for governments, including for all disability ministers to respond to the report by March 31.

More than five months later, Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth, NDIS Minister Bill Shorten and state and territory disability ministers – bar Tasmania, which is in caretaker mode ahead of the next election – yesterday released a joint statement, revealing they won’t formally respond to the royal commission’s final report until after March 31.

They noted the “scale and complexity of reform recommended and the importance of consulting widely and understanding implications” for the delay.

“The additional time will ensure responses are informed by the views of people with disability, their families, carers, representative organisations, service providers, unions and the broader community,” they said yesterday.

“It will also enable the development of strategic responses that drive meaningful and lasting change to make Australia safe, accessible and inclusive for all people with disability.”

The Commonwealth and the states and territories have agreed to respond to the joint recommendations by mid-2024.

Among the report’s recommendations was a call to completely end segregated schooling by 2051, while the six commissioners were split on whether or not to phase out group homes.

Disability royal commissioner Alastair McEwin blasted the governments for failing to meet the deadline to respond, saying it showed a “lack of respect” to the 10,000 people who gave evidence to the commission.


Australian disability ministers push back response to bombshell royal commission (By Ellen Ransley, NCA Newswire via The Australian)

Disability royal commissioner criticises governments for slow response to final report (By Stephen Lunn and Sarah Ison, The Australian)