Policy Submission: South Australian Disability (Mandatory Reporting) Bill 2010
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JFA Purple Orange submitted this comment to the South Australian Shadow Attorney-General, Stephen Wade, on the proposed Disability (Mandatory Reporting) Bill 2010 which is currently being considered by the South Australian Parliament.
Recommendation 1 - Ensure the proposed Disability (Mandatory Reporting) Bill 2010 upholds the place of people living with disability as valued citizens at the core of our communities
We would be very happy to talk with you in more detail about the elements of the Model of Citizenhood Support, and the possible implications for the parameters of mandatory reporting.
Recommendation 2 - Introduction of an independent Community Visitors Scheme
We believe that an independent Community Visitors Scheme is an important element of a comprehensive framework of safeguards. The purpose of a Community Visitors Scheme is to provide an essential further avenue for people living with disability to raise their concerns and have these actioned through providing them with “access to an independent person to promote their well-being and circumstances”. Community Visitors are considered objective because they are independent of government departments and service providers.
The Victorian Disability Act 2006 established Community Visitors to “inquire into –
(a) The appropriateness and standard of premises for the accommodation of residents;
(b) The adequacy of opportunity for inclusion and participation by residents in the community;
(e) Any case of suspected abuse or neglect of a resident; ...
(f) The use of restrictive interventions and compulsory treatment; ...
(h) Any complaint made to a community visitor by a resident”.
Recommendation 3 - Introduction of an independent Safeguards Commissioner to oversee the Bill
We recommend that an independent Safeguards Commissioner be established to:
- Oversee the Bill’s provisions, investigate and resolve reported cases of abuse and neglect;
- Be responsible for overseeing the Community Visitors Scheme;
- Shape best-practice safeguarding policy and practice that align with the UNCRPD.
The establishment of the Disability Services Commissioner as part of the Victorian Disability Act 2006 is an example of how an independent entity can respond to and investigate disability service complaints.
Recommendation 4 - Inclusion of ‘Fundamental Principles’ in the Disability (Mandatory Reporting) Bill 2010 which highlight the fundamental rights of people living with disability
We recommend that ‘Fundamental Principles’ that specifically align with the UNCRPD be included in the proposed Disability (Mandatory Reporting) Bill 2010 to promote and protect the safety and well-being of people living with disability.
Articles 15, 16 and 17 of the UNCRPD have a specific emphasis on ensuring the safety of people living with disability.