Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Extension for Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
    Minister for Industrial Relations
    Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

The Morrison Government today announces that it will extend the final reporting date for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability to 29 September 2023.

This provides an additional 17 months to account for the impact of COVID-19 and recognising the broad issues of inquiry under the Royal Commission’s terms of reference.

“This extension will enable the Government to receive and implement recommendations as expeditiously as possible,” Minister Ruston said.

“This will make meaningful change to the lives of people with disability, while also enabling the Royal Commission to fulfil its terms of reference.

“We remain focused on supporting people with disability, their families and supporters, advocacy groups and the disability community.”

Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said the Government had favourably acted on requests from the Chair since the inquiry started.

“The Government has added a seventh Commissioner, refined the Letters Patent to articulate the Chair’s role and progressed legislative amendments to the Royal Commissions Act 1902 to assist the Commission’s workload,” the Attorney-General said.

The Royal Commission is independent from Government and sets its own processes including how it approaches its terms of reference, informs itself for the inquiry and, importantly, hears directly from people with disability, their families and loved ones.

The Government continues to fund free and independent counselling and advocacy support for people with disability that have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, as well as their families and carers, and anyone affected by the Royal Commission.

A national legal advisory service and legal financial assistance scheme are funded and available for people or entities giving evidence or engaging in other ways with the Royal Commission. Additional funding for support services for an extended reporting date will be considered through the ordinary budget processes.

The Government looks forward to receiving the Royal Commission’s final report on 29 September 2023.