The Australian Royal Commission Releases Three Issue Papers

The Royal Commission released the following three issues papers between 1 July and 31 December 2020:

  1. Safeguards and quality, released on 18 November 2020;
  2. Violence and abuse in the home, released on 2 December 2020; and
  3. Promoting an inclusive society, released on 4 December 2020.

The Report outlines upcoming work that has been commissioned to:

  • conduct a rapid review of the published literature to understand factors that increase and decrease the risk of violence against an abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability; and
  • understand the experiences of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation among young people with intellectual and/or psycho-social disability.

The Royal Commission has also indicated that its research program includes projects to:

  • Examine how police respond to people with disability;
  • Analyse suspensions, exclusions and restrictive practices against students with disability in Australian schools;
  • Consider whether a reporting and complaint systems can be improved;
  • Determine the extent to which the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) operates effectively for people with disability and whether it should be revised to expand the protection available to people with disability; and
  • Understand the experiences of First Nations people with disability and children with disability in the Child Protection System.

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The Report highlights the substantial amount of work still ahead of the Royal Commission, with responses to issues papers, undertaking research and conducting further hearings. In its Report, the Royal Commission confirmed the following schedule of public hearings:

  • 24 March 2021: Pathways and barriers to open employment with disability – oral submissions (Sydney)
  • Week of 19 April 2021: NDIS and service providers (Sydney)
  • Week of 24 May 2021: NDIS and service providers (Sydney)
  • Week of 21 June 2021: First Nations and out-of-home care (Brisbane)
  • Week of 26 July 2021: Restraints in education (Brisbane)
  • Week of 16 August 2021: The health and safety of women and girls with disability (TBC)
  • Week of 27 September 2021: Employment (TBC)
  • Week of 1 November 2021: To be advised (TBC)
  • Week of 6 December 2021: Disability support workforce issues (TBC).

Further, the recent release of the Final Reports from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System have identified a number of areas that may impact on the Royal Commission’s inquiry. These include restrictive practices (physical and chemical) and the training of people providing care.

In particular, the Australian Government is recommended to consider the applicability of any findings concerning restrictive practices and whether further legislative reforms would be required to implement such recommendations as they may assist service delivery in aged care. 

As is clear from the most recent report, and the Royal Commission’s Interim Report, it is evident that restrictive practices will be the subject of further investigation by the Royal Commission.

Tego wants our clients to be informed and up to date

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