Bill seals testimony on abuse of disabled

·1-min read

The disability community can have more trust in coming forward with evidence about abuse, violence and neglect under new whistleblower protections.

Information provided to the disability royal commission in confidence will remain confidential when the inquiry ends under a protection of information bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday.

There are also stronger safeguards for people who expose the failings of government departments, corporations or institutions.

The Greens' Jordon Steele-John said after years of raising the alarm that the confidentiality provisions in the disability royal commission were insufficient, the amendments allow people to come forward with trust.

"The Greens are encouraging everyone to share their experience of violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation with the commission," Senator Steele-John said.

"They need to hear from all of us to get a total picture of violence, abuse and neglect that is occurring in all settings all across the country."

Despite distressing evidence of a toxic culture at some facilities, disability support providers are yet to embed zero-tolerance policies on abuse into their operations.

The royal commission has also expressed concern about the slow coronavirus vaccine rollout to people in disability residential care.

Disability Minister Linda Reynolds insists the government has picked up the pace, but concedes there is still a way to go.

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