Improving the safety, rights and protection of people with disability

The Albanese Labor Government is continuing its efforts to improve the safety, rights and protection of people with disability through an investment of up to $2.5 million for 10 projects nationally.

The pilot projects are funded under Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 Safety Targeted Action Plan and will receive the funding injection through to 2023-24.

One in six Australians – or 4.4 million people – are living with disability and research shows that people with disability are at greater risk of harm, which can include abuse, violence and neglect.

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability estimated that the economic cost of systemic or interpersonal neglect of people with disability associated with their safety, rights and justice outcomes is $6.4 billion per year.

The 10 pilot projects will be led by states and territories and will include actions to:

  • develop a common assessment framework for level 3 supported accommodation (Queensland)
  • expand the Paediatric Behavioural Triage Clinic (New South Wales)
  • include First Nations and Victims of Crime liaison officers in the ACT Disability Justice Community of Practice
  • improve cross-agency collaboration to support safe transition from custody for people with disability (South Australia)
  • promote ways Victorian service system organisations can remove access barriers to services by using supported decision-making strategies
  • Reviewing existing barriers to safely integrating people with intellectual disability at risk of offending back into the community (Victoria)

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the cross-government pilots will strengthen the design of on-the-ground government services systems and the supports they provide to people with disability at risk of harm.

“This is the first cross-government activity under the Safety Targeted Action Plan, demonstrating there is nothing more important than improving services for people with disability to ensure they are safe, accessible, culturally informed and preserve rights.

“These projects will have an immediately tangible, positive impact on the lives of the 4.4 million people in Australia with disability.”

The projects and evaluation will be completed by 30 June 2024. Outcomes of the projects will be considered by Disability Ministers in 2024.

More information about the Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 Safety Targeted Action Plan is available on the Australia’s Disability Strategy Hub.