On 16 August 2017, the Victorian Parliament passed the Disability Amendment Act 2017 to better protect the rights of people with a disability.
The amending Act formalises a principle of zero tolerance of abuse, and strengthens the Disability Services Commissioner’s oversight of the disability sector.
The Commissioner will now be able to initiate investigations into allegations of abuse and neglect, including individual complaints or systemic issues.
The new guiding principle aims to help embed a culture of zero tolerance of abuse in disability services. It reinforces that services should promote the rights and safety of people with a disability, and not tolerate or normalise abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The changes implement key recommendations of the Parliamentary inquiry into abuse in disability services, and enhances the safeguards for people with a disability until the NDIS National Quality and Safeguards Framework starts in mid-2019.