QDN Member Update: Four Commissions explained
At the moment in Queensland, there are four Commissions which relate to people with disability and QDN members will have seen information about them. QDN has put together the following information about the four different Queensland and National Commissions, what they do, their roles, how they can assist people with disability and their contact information.
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
On 5 April 2019, the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, and Minister for Families and Social Services, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, announced the establishment of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Recent inquiries and reports have shown that people with disability are more likely to experience violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation than people without disability.
What is learnt from the Royal Commission will help to inform Australian governments, institutions and the wider community on how to prevent, and better protect, people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in the future.
The Commission is seeking information from people about the following:
- If you have experienced incidents of violence, abuse, neglect and/or abuse
- Your experiences of making a complaint process and any outcomes
- Your access to places and services
- The quality (how good they are) and the safety (how safe you feel) of disability specific services
- Best practice and innovation – examples of when services get things right
The Royal Commission is for all Australians with disability.
An information line has been launched for the Royal Commission to support people with disability, families, carers and others to have their say in the Royal Commission. The number is 1800 517 199 (9am to 5pm AEDT, Monday to Friday). An email address for enquiries is also available at DRCenquiries@royalcommission.gov.au.
NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is an independent agency set up to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. The Commission has responsibility for regulation of NDIS providers (providing rules they have to follow), providing national consistency, promoting safety and quality services, resolving problems and identifying areas for improvement.
The Quality and Safeguards Commission is for everyone who is an NDIS Participant.
You can call the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission from 1 July on 1800 035 544 9am to 5pm local time, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. This is a free call. The Queensland office of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is located at: 215 Adelaide Street, Brisbane City.
Queensland Human Rights Commission
The Queensland Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory body set up under the Queensland Anti-Discrimina
tion Act 1991. They were formerly the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland, and were renamed the Queensland Human Rights Commission on 1 July 2019, in line with the Human Rights Act 2019 which also commenced on that date. We still handle complaints and training on discrimination, vilification, victimisation and sexual harassment, under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld).
They support businesses, state and local government, the community sector and people throughout the state. Their work includes:
- resolving discrimination complaints;
- delivering training to business, government and the community on discrimination and human rights; and
- promoting public discussion on human rights.
They receive complaints of discrimination (being treated unfairly because you belong to a particular group ie you have a disability), sexual harassment (someone making unwelcome comments or actions against you of a sexual nature), vilification (someone saying bad or untrue things about you), victimisation (someone being deliberately cruel or unfair towards you) and other breaches of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991. We also take complaints of reprisal (someone taking an unfair action against you because you have spoken out against something) under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010.
From 1 January 2020 the complaints process will include human rights complaints. This means that if you feel your human rights have been breached by a public entity (service, business or government department), you may be able to lodge a complaint at the Commission. This will only apply to breaches which occur after 1 January 2020.
The Queensland Human Rights Commission head office is in Brisbane. The State wide telephone line is: 1300 130 670. This is a local call. They have regional offices in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton. Click here for contact details for all offices.
The Australian Human Rights Commission
The Australian Human Rights Commission was set up in 1986 as the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and renamed in 2008. It is responsible for investigating alleged infringements of Australia’s anti-discrimination legislation in relation to Commonwealth agencies. Matters that can be investigated by the Commission under the Australian Human Rights Commission Regulations 1989 include “discrimination on the grounds of race or nationality, or ethnic origin, racial vilification, age, sex or gender, sexual harassment, marital or relationship status, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, care status, care status, actual or potential pregnancy, breastfeeding, trade union activity, criminal record, medical record, impairment or disability.”
The Human Rights Commission protects people from discrimination. This Commission upholds human rights. There are 7 human rights Commissioners. One of them is the Disability Discrimination Commissioner. His name is Ben Gauntlett. The Commissioner gives advice to organisations about the rights of people with disability. The Human Rights Commission is for all Australians.
You can contact the Australian Human Rights Commission via the contact details below:
Level 3, 175 Pitt Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000
GPO Box 5218
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Telephone: (02) 9284 9600
National Information Service: 1300 656 419
General enquiries and publications: 1300 369 711
TTY: 1800 620 241
Fax: (02) 9284 9611