Message from the Chair
Dear Members and Colleagues,
Now we have the long-anticipated federal election on May 18th, just 4 weeks away. This is a reminder that the ACT has changed since 2016. In this election, the Territory has graduated to have 3 electorates – Canberra, Fenner and Bean. Bean is the most interesting electorate because it includes Norfolk Island. You can check which electorate your suburb falls into from the maps on the Australian electoral Commission website.
WWDACT thanks Gai Brodtmann, the immediate past member for Canberra, who will not be standing this time round. We thank Gai for her extraordinary contribution to the community, especially for her advocacy on NDIS and other disability matters, and look forward to meeting up with her in other roles.
WWDACT has contributed to the Election Platform for Women on the National Foundation of Australia Women (NFAW) Website. We will keep you posted about how women’s issues and disability issues are covered in each of the major party’s policies in the lead-up count-down to the election.
Why did the Royal Commission on the violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disabilities take two decades of lobbying to eventuate? The ABC this week highlighted data from the first 6-month activity report of the NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission. At present, the Commission operates only in NSW and SA, covering about 118,000 NDIS participants. It received nearly 1500 reports of serious incidents and allegations of abuse. Four percent (4%) of the incidents related to sexual misconduct, 16% to unlawful physical/sexual conduct and 17% to serious injury. Where there is a power imbalance between the person supported and the support worker, whether paid or voluntary, there is risk of exploitation. Let’s hope the Q&S Commission work with service providers and their accreditation will start to address these injustices. The Q&S Commission commences operation in the ACT on 1 July 2019.
In closing, WWDACT hopes everyone has a restful Easter break and safe travels for those venturing outside the ACT.