CLEANING UP AND CLEARING OUT VICTORIA’S DISABILITY SECTOR
A call for Minister Foley to take decisive and prompt action
“Reform of Victoria’s disability sector is a real possibility, now there is a new government and a new disability minister,” said Max Jackson and Margaret Ryan. “The recent ABC’s Four Corners program about Yooralla and article in The Age identified serious deficits across the system and clearly demonstrated the urgent need for reform.”
“People who see things as they are from the grassroots perspective are very much aware how the rhetoric and self-congratulatory nature of the bureaucracy masks many deficits,” they stated.
“Three Action Areas vital to reforming Victoria’s disability sector are spelt out in a Blueprint Position Paper we have written in order to encourage the Minister to act decisively and promptly. These are
- Cultural reform for effective change
- Legislative reform and compliance
“The Labor commitment to a thorough Parliamentary Inquiry into the systemic failures in Victoria’s disability care system, given after the Four Corners program, is a necessary way of giving a voice to the issues, concerns and frustrations experienced by people with disabilities and their families. We urge the Andrews Government to move quickly to undertake the inquiry.”
“A significant failure of the previous Minister, the Secretary of the Department of Human Services and the Disability Services Commissioner, was their failure to uphold transparency in reporting. We call on the incoming Minister to publicly release information such as all deaths and incidents of violence, individual provider results of the quality audit program.”
“It would be a significant reform if Disability Service Inspectors were to be established, with similar authorities to those of workplace inspectors under the OH&S Act. The introduction of mandatory reporting in the disability sector is also a long overdue necessity.”
“The Minister must also confront the watchdogs who have failed people with disabilities. For example, the Disability Services Commissioner has not conducted one single investigation in the past five years of complaints concerning abuse, neglect, intimidation, assault and bullying. The Public Advocate has never spoken out about the failure of the Yooralla Board, its former CEO and senior managers and the rapes perpetrated in that organisation.”
Max and Margaret went on to say, “Given the significant failures of highly paid bureaucrats the Minister must act to clean up and clear out those elements of Victoria’s disability sector that are clearly not working.”
Blueprint for Reforming Victoria's Disability Sector
11 December 2014
Contact: Max Jackson, Mobile 0413 040 654. Margaret Ryan, Mobile 0412 409 610.