The Andrews Labor Government continues to lead the country on a zero tolerance approach to abuse of people with a disability with the introduction of the Disability Act Amendment Bill today.
The Bill formalises a principle of zero tolerance by strengthening the powers of the Disability Services Commissioner to be able to initiate investigations into allegations of individual cases, systemic and recurrent issues of abuse, and neglect of people with a disability.
The Disability Services Commissioner will be able to appoint authorised officers to visit and inspect relevant premises without notice and specify action that needs to be taken as a result of its investigations.
A comprehensive, annual review of all deaths that occur in disability services will be undertaken with results of this review to be made public in the Commissioner’s annual report.
The Victorian Budget 2017/18 provides $8.7 million to support these proposed changes to give the Commissioner greater oversight of the sector.
This is in addition to the Labor Government’s work to expand the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme, a registration and accreditation scheme for disability workers and additional training for Community Visitors to identify and report abuse.
Quotes attributable to Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley
“Abuse in disability services has been happening for far too long – the NDIS provides us with the opportunity to make sure the right safeguards are in place to stop it happening in the future.”
“We continue to stand by Victorians with a disability as they transition to the NDIS and by making sure their rights are protected.”