Monday, 18 May 2020
Australian Greens Disability Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has described the death of Ann-Marie Smith as horrific, but not unique.
“When I learnt about the tragic death of Ann-Marie Smith over the weekend it filled me with a mixture of grief and anger, in equal measures. Violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect is the experience of so many disabled people in this country," Steele-John said.
“It’s clear that the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has a lot of questions to answer and I will be personally following up with them today regarding Ann-Marie’s case.
“In the meantime, they must ensure that independent welfare checks are carried out on every other person who interacted with this support worker whilst they worked for Integrity Care South Australia.
“There must also be questions for the State Government over their role in the reduction of funding to community visitor programs, which has resulted in so many people being left alone in the community without anyone checking that they are ok.
“We all know that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of disabled people around Australia that are suffering as Ann-Marie did right now.
“Her death cannot be put down simply to the actions of just one individual, allowing the service provider Integrity Care SA and others to distance themselves from the horrible reality of Ann-Marie's death. All those who knew, or should have known, must be held to account.
“Ann-Marie’s case is why the Royal Commission is so important to bring the reality of the situations that disabled people find themselves in every single day to light and ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice.”
STEELE-JOHN - Tim Oliver; 0448 316 387