Tuesday, 2 April 2019
Australian Greens Disability Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has called the announcement of $527 million to be allocated in tomorrow's budget for a Royal Commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation as a massive win for disabled people.
“Finally, we have the opportunity for justice,” Steele-John said.
“Let’s not pretend this is a win for the Morrison government - they never wanted this Royal Commission to happen - this is a win for the disability rights movement.
“It is only thanks to the tireless advocacy of disabled people, the community and the Greens - particularly my colleague Senator Rachel Siewert - that this government have been dragged kicking and screaming to making this commitment.
“The major parties must reflect on the result of their inaction. If they had only acted on the urgent recommendations of the 2015 Senate inquiry, then we would now be discussing the implementation of that Royal Commission’s findings.
“In celebrating this breakthrough I am also filled with sadness and anger for all those who came to harm, and died, while the major parties did nothing.
"The final terms of reference must reflect the community's demand for a Royal Commission with powers that enable it to properly investigate, prosecute and recommend redress.
"A Royal Commission of this scale needs both lived experience of disability, and appropriate legal knowledge, amongst its commissioners to enable it to deliver justice for disabled people. That means both male and female commissioners with lived experience of disability because of the often gendered nature of abuse.
"It means ensuring there are commissioners who understand the complex nature of intellectual and psychosocial disability, and the intersectionality of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect across our multicultural society.
"The fight for justice does not end here - the Royal Commission we get must be the Royal Commission we need. The Greens, and disabled activists across the country, will continue to hold both major parties to account on this issue.”
Tim Oliver (Senator Steele-John) – 0448 316 387