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Government laziness is impeding the important work of the Disability Royal Commission

Wednesday 12 August

The second progress report of the Royal Commission into the Violence, Abuse, Exploitation and Neglect of People with Disability makes it clear that the limitations of confidentiality provisions are impeding on people's willingness to speak with the Commission and affecting the scope of the Commission's work, Australian Greens Disability Rights and Services spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said.

Steele-John also said there was still significant work that needed to be done to engage with Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory with data showing that three quarters of submissions had come from individuals and organisations in the Eastern States.

"The failure of the Morrison government to strengthen witness protections is risking the loss of vital evidence and will ultimately weaken the Royal Commission's findings, and therefore recommendations," Steele-John said.

"I first flagged this issue with Attorney General Christian Porter back in November 2019 and made several inquiries to his office since then with no response. The Chair, Ronald Sackville, has made similar inquiries and spoken of the issue in public hearings of the Royal Commission in Townsville and in Sydmney.

"An entire section of this progress report is devoted to confidentiality protections, or lack thereof, and the challenges the situation presents to the important work of the Commission. It is simply not good enough that more than a year into this process these simpole legislative changes have still not been made!

"There is no other way to describe the attitude of the Morrison government towards the Disability Royal Commission other than 'laziness'.

"It is critical that these changes are urgently made to ensure that our Royal Commission can get on with its work and so that people can feel safe in the knowledge that their privacy will be protected."

Media Contacts:

STEELE-JOHN - Tim Oliver; 0448 316 387
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