Message from the Chair
Dear Members and Colleagues,
The Disability Royal Commission has been in an establishment phase since it was gazetted on 4 April 2019. It has been busy recruiting staff to assist with the face-to-face hearings around the country, and with collating information from witnesses. In addition, the search for venues which are wheelchair accessible and have hearing loops, etc. has been arduous. WWDACT knows such venues are difficult to find.
However, now the Disability Royal Commission is ready to accept written submissions. A submission is the main way that people and organisations can provide information about their experiences of violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation. There is information on the Disability Royal Commission website, as well as a form to help order your thoughts. There will be supports available through the Commission and local services to make submissions too. WWDACT will also post updates on the WWDACT Royal Commission webpage.
As you are probably aware, there are calls for two of the Commissioners to step down from their appointments. John Ryan AM and Barbara Bennett PSM both have held senior roles in federal and NSW government agencies that will most likely be the subject of examination by the Commission. WWDACT will not take part in any associated actions as an organisation, but realise that individuals may do so. WWDACT’s CEO has written some more about this matter and our Board decision in this e-Bulletin.
Finally, it is good to see that the Senate Community Affairs References Committee will inquire into the adequacy of Newstart and other welfare payments. Let us hope that a recommendation to raise the rate of Newstart will be actioned speedily after they table their findings.