Public hearing to investigate COVID-19 impact

Tue 30 Jun 2020

Public hearing to investigate COVID-19 impact

The Royal Commission has announced a public hearing on the impact of COVID-19 on people with disability. It will be held in Sydney during the week commencing 17 August and is the first since public events were placed on hold due to the pandemic.
The Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC said unless there are significant changes in circumstances, the hearing will take place in Sydney in August.

‘The hearing will gather evidence from people with disability, peak advocacy groups, public health and disability experts, as well as government representatives.

'We will examine whether Commonwealth, State and Territory governments adequately considered the particular needs of people with disability in preparing responses to the COVID-19 pandemic,’ said the Chair.

The Royal Commission is still receiving responses to our Emergency Planning and Response issues paper. This paper looks at what can be done to improve the safety and wellbeing of people with disability during emergencies like the pandemic.

The Royal Commission advise so far they have heard that COVID-19 restrictions have had a particular impact on people with disability.

People are concerned about:

  • access to emergency information
  • disruptions to support services 
  • lack of oversite in closed environments like group homes.

The Royal Commission encourage individuals and organisations to respond to the issues paper by 17 July 2020.