Report Highlights Labor’s Callous Attitude To People With A Disability

Report Highlights Labor’s Callous Attitude To People With A Disability

Victoria Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge

Coalition Welcomes Public Advocate Report

Victor P Taffa

The Coalition Government welcomes the report by the Public Advocate which highlights the failure of the previous Labor Government to deal with violence against Victorians with Disabilities, Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge said today.

The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) today has released a report entitled Violence against people with cognitive impairments, which analyses and documents 86 cases of violence disclosed to OPA staff over the last decade.

“The Shocking Extent of violence suffered by Victorians with disabilities, and the failure of the Previous Government to respond is detailed in this report.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

“I have repeatedly heard from people with disabilities and their families that when they have experienced violence their views are ignored and they don’t get justice. The Coalition is determined to ensure people with Disabilities have a voice.”


The report documents disturbing case studies where disclosures of sexual abuse, family violence, over-medication and violence were not dealt with appropriately.

The report states that under the Labor Government services were ‘not well co-ordinated’ and that ‘fundamental differences’ in the way services operated were known to ‘frustrate practical collaboration’. Ultimately this was found to ‘hinder or prevent the provision of adequate support’.

“Instead of Labor’s failed approach we need a justice system that better supports people with disabilities, services that respond quickly to alleged abuse and a change of approach that ensures services work together.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

“We now have one Minister responsible for Disability Services, Family Violence and Mental Health which will assist us to respond to violence against people with disabilities in a comprehensive way.”

“We have committed to establish a new model of case management that will allow people to access the range of supports they need, breaking down Labor’s silo-based approach.”

“The Coalition will be seeking the support of the parliament for a reference to the Law Reform.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

Committee to undertake an inquiry into how people with a disability can get better access to justice and improve their interactions with the justice system as a whole.

“A forum will also be held in March, involving all relevant agencies and the Office of the Public Advocate, to develop the shared understanding of this issue that is currently lacking and to put in place appropriate solutions.”

“These reforms will be a start to ensuring that Victorians with disabilities finally get access to the support and the justice they deserve.” Ms. Wooldridge said.