Legislative reforms to provide greater privacy protections for participants in Disability Royal Commission

The Morrison Government is taking further measures to ensure that people with disability and their supporters will be able to recount their experiences and fully participate in the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation of People with Disability.

Amendments to the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth) will protect the confidentiality of information given to this nationally significant inquiry. This comes on top of existing mechanisms for the Royal Commission to protect information provided and the identity of witnesses, including through the use of private sessions or pseudonyms or the making of do not publish orders.

“We want people in the community to engage fully with the Royal Commission,” Attorney-General, Christian Porter, said.

“The amendments will ensure that the work of this Royal Commission is guided by people’s experiences and that its outcomes are based on a true reflection of those experiences.”

The Chair of the Royal Commission, the Hon Ronald Sackville AO QC, requested the amendments, so that people with disability would have reassurance that their information will be protected both during the life of the Royal Commission and after it has concluded its work.

“I have instructed my department to work swiftly on the amendments, with the aim of introducing in the Autumn sittings of 2021,” the Attorney-General said.

“With these amendments, we are acting to ensure that the Royal Commission receives vital evidence to inform its findings.”

The Royal Commission is due to present an interim report to the Governor-General on 30 October 2020 and its final report is due by April 2022.

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