Disability abuse rates need inquiry: MPs

The federal government has moved a step closer to a new scheme it says will reduce the risk of harm to people with disabilities, but Labor says a royal commission is needed.

The opposition joined with the coalition in the House of Representatives on Wednesday to pass laws setting up a nationwide background check scheme for workers employed by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The laws will now go to the Senate for approval.

Minister David Littleproud said it would minimise the risk of harm to people with disabilities by those working closely with them.

"It reduces potential for providers to employ workers who pose a high risk of harm to people with disability and deters individuals who pose an unacceptable risk of harm from seeking work in the sector," he said.

The opposition is calling for a royal commission to fully investigate "horrific" abuses against Australians with disabilities.

Labor MP Emma Husar cited figures showing nine in 10 women with an intellectual disability are sexually abused in their lifetime and 60 per cent of the abuse occurred before age 18.

Ms Husar said parents of children with disabilities were filled with anxiety and fears about abuse, given children with disabilities were three times more likely to be abused than others their own age.

"(It's at) the point where some parents have such little faith in the system that they deny their children services because they cannot be assured that their special needs child will not be preyed upon," she said.

Labor's disability reform spokeswoman Jenny Macklin raised the case of 22-year-old Sarah Hammoud who died in 2016.

Just months before her death she was seen being dragged from a taxi while workers watched on, Ms Macklin said, describing the "shocking incident".

"Sarah's tragic case sadly is not unique. These shocking and harrowing cases of violence and abuse are far too often experienced by people with disability and that just cannot be ignored," she told parliament.

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