NDIS watchdog failing to protect disabled people

The Australian Greens MPs

Thursday 17 September 2020

Australian Greens Disability Rights and Services spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has labelled reports that the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has fined just one provider, despite receiving more than 8000 complaints, as deeply concerning but not surprising.

“As a disabled person, as a disability advocate, it speaks to the systemic and endemic nature of the violence and abuse we have been screaming about for decades, and the abject failure of the commission to act.

“This report is particularly concerning to me because we know that those 8000 complaints are still just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect that is occuring.

“There are many people who, because of their disability or circumstances, physically cannot use the safeguard system to report. You’ve got to be able to pick up the phone, do it in a safe way, and if you’re hearing impaired, visually impaired or have a physical mobility issue that’s not an option to you.

“It should not have taken the murder of Ann Marie Smith for the Commission to take action against a single provider. I shudder to think about the number of people who are in similar situations around the country with no avenue for justice.

“These systems are supposed to protect disabled people and hold perpetrators to account. They are failing.”

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