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Disability Royal Commission Chair welcomes Federal Government confidentiality protections

The Chair of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, Ronald Sackville AO QC, has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement that it will introduce legislation to protect the confidentiality of submissions beyond the life of the Royal Commission.

Mr Sackville said that the decision addresses the concerns expressed by the Royal Commission and will encourage people with disability who have concerns about long term confidentiality to engage with the Commission.

“I have been aware for some time of concerns among people with disability and the wider community about the long-term confidentiality of information of those making a submission to the Royal Commission,” Mr Sackville said on Tuesday.

“I wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison on February 14 2020 and again on September 11, 2020 seeking amendments to the Royal Commissions Act to provide greater levels of confidentiality for submissions.

“I believe the Federal Government’s acknowledgement of the importance of these protections will encourage further participation in the Royal Commission from people with disability whose stories are at the heart of our work.”

Attorney-General Christian Porter has also agreed to Mr Sackville’s request for amendments to streamline information-sharing between Commonwealth Royal Commissions and concurrent State Royal Commissions.

The Royal Commission has immediately begun work on the necessary processes that need to be put in place to give effect to the proposed legislation.

The Royal Commission looks forward to the early passage of amending legislation through the Parliament.

The Royal Commission was established in April 2019 for a term of three years.