Prime Minister Scott Morrison has choked back tears while officially launching a royal commission into the abuse and neglect of disabled Australians, news.com.au reports.
The $528 million inquiry, which will be headed by Justice Ronald Sackville and be based in Brisbane, will examine mistreatment across institutions, workplaces, schools, homes and the wider community and “Australians living with disability and their families have spoken and my government has listened and is taking action,” Mr Morrison told reporters.
“People living with disability have faced the most difficult of circumstances because of their own condition,” the prime minister said.
“But worse than that is the look of a culture of respect towards people with disability that leads to their abuse and mistreatment.
“We have to establish a culture of respect for people living with disabilities and the families who support, love and care for them.” The royal commission will hand down a final report in April 2022. An emotional Mr Morrison dedicated the royal commission to his disabled brother- in-law Gary.
“To all those Australians with a disability, their families, to Gary, this is for you.”
Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on two former senior public servants to step down from the newly-announced Royal Commission into the abuse and neglect of people with disabilities, SBS adds.
More than 50 organisations involved in the disability sector have demanded John Ryan and Barbara Bennett be removed from the royal commission over a conflict of interest.
Matthew Bowden, Co-CEO of People with Disability Australia, told SBS News that that program would likely be the subject of complaints and submissions to the commission, but many would be put off by Mr Ryan and Ms Bennett’s involvement.
Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (Disability Royal Commission)