Elimination of restrictive practices not mentioned in disability progress update

Posted 1 month ago by David McManus
The government released a progress update in response to the Disability Royal Commission’s final report, along with publishing new Disability Employment Services guidelines. [Source: Shutterstock]
The government released a progress update in response to the Disability Royal Commission’s final report, along with publishing new Disability Employment Services guidelines. [Source: Shutterstock]

What can people with disability expect when the government responds to the Disability Royal Commission in mid-2024?

Key points:

  • The NDIS Review delivered 26 recommendations with 139 actions to change the system that supports people with disability
  • More information on the government’s consideration of the Disability Royal Commission is available on the Department of Social Services website
  • The government will formally respond to the Disability Royal Commission’s final report by mid-2024


Advocates have called for people with disability to be equal partners in determining reforms stemming from the government’s response to the NDIS Review and the Disability Royal Commission.

People With Disability Australia President Marayke Jonkers said formal responses should outline how disability rights will be ensured and enforced.

“The Disability Royal Commission confirmed what people with disability already knew — our rights are not currently being upheld or respected in Australia. We look forward to firm commitments to legal protections which uphold and enforce our rights. PWDA will continuing [sic] advocating for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to be fully upheld,” Ms Jonkers said.

The government is set to deliver a formal response in mid-2024, with a progress update released on March 13, addressing the steps being taken to improve the lives of people with disability.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the government will continue to take action to create more opportunities for people with disability and build a stronger ecosystem of supports.

“The government is dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive Australia, where all people with disability are supported to thrive,” Minister Rishworth said.

“The Royal Commission handed down 222 recommendations after four and a half years of inquiry and we must take the time to work with states and territories and the disability community to carefully develop a response that will create lasting change.”

The progress update identified ‘Achieving an Inclusive Australia’ as a key theme for reform. PWDA has called for firm commitments to full inclusion and an end to segregation across all settings.

“We are taking tangible actions to improve access to employment for people with disability through reform to Disability Employment Services, including an immediate lift in quality and have strengthened safeguarding arrangements for people with disability outside the NDIS through enacting the new Disability Services and Inclusion Act 2023,” Minister Rishworth said.

PWDA has welcomed the progress update’s recognition of the need to enhance the quality and availability of disability and mainstream supports and services, although advocates remain concerned that the elimination of restrictive practices is absent from the update.

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill Shorten recently announced a suite of measures in response to the Independent Review of the NDIS.

“The findings of the Disability Royal Commission and the NDIS Review highlighted that all governments must do more to foster a safer Australia for people with disability,” said Minister Shorten.

“We have established the NDIS Provider and Worker Registration Taskforce that will investigate how we can reduce the risk of harm and lift the quality of disability supports people with disability are accessing.

“We want to see a regulatory system that helps ensure no one is invisible or forgotten on the NDIS.

“Participants and providers will benefit from the new system being designed, which will ensure the level of regulation matches the risk. That gives participants more choices in the future.”

The Commonwealth Disability Royal Commission Taskforce is driving the coordinated consideration of the final report by the government.

Hundreds of people with disability, representative and advocacy organisations and families have responded to a questionnaire or provided a submission during the recent public consultation period.

“For too long people with disability have endured violent practices like restraint and seclusion. The silence in this Progress Update on restrictive practices is deeply concerning. PWDA will continue advocating for a firm commitment from governments to eliminate all restrictive practices,” Ms Jonkers said.


What do you think of the progress update? Let the team at Talking Disability know your thoughts and subscribe to the newsletter for more news, information and industry updates.


Related content:

Disability Royal Commission’s Final Report made public — here’s what we know

NDIS Review delivers 26 recommendations, 139 actions to change the system

GPs warn of a ‘two-tiered NDIS’ leaving participants behind