The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has, until further notice, suspended all public hearings, due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.
The Chair of the Commission, Ronald Sackville AO QC says that the decision was made after careful consideration.
“The Commission has decided that these measures are necessary in view of the risks to health, especially to people with disability who are often particularly vulnerable to infections.
“The Commission’s overriding responsibility is to protect, as far as possible, the health and safety of people with disability, members of staff (who include people with disability) and the community at large,” he added.
The Commission has postponed the following hearings:
Education scheduled for Tuesday 24 March in Brisbane, Queensland.
Justice scheduled for April in Brisbane, Queensland.
First Nations People with disability scheduled for May in Alice Springs, Northern Territory.
The Commission has also suspended all other public events as well as face to face private sessions until further notice.
The announcement comes after the postponement of community forums that were to be held in Tasmania this week.
The Royal Commission has been contacting all those directly affected, such as witnesses and people who have registered for community forums, to inform them of the decision.
Mr Sackville says that the Commission is considering what this means for its timetable, and that work “will continue” despite some activities being postponed.
People will be able to continue telling the Royal Commission about their experiences of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Submissions can continue to be made in writing or by making an audio or video recording via phone, email or through the Commission website.
The Commission will continue to provide regular updates through their website, newsletter and social media channels.