We welcome the passing of the Royal Commissions Amendment (Protection of Information) Bill 2021 by the Federal Parliament today
What this means is stories of harm or other mistreatment shared with the Disability Royal Commission can be protected beyond the life of the inquiry.
Previously, these stories had the potential to be accessed through Freedom of Information requests when the Royal Commission ends in September 2023.
This has been a concern for many of the people accessing our free, independent legal support.
There are many reasons why a person may wish to keep their story private.
They may be worried about losing their job or that they or another person will be punished for what they share. This can be especially concerning for people in smaller communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Now, our clients and other people with disability and their supporters can safely and confidently share sensitive stories knowing they will be protected beyond the life of the Disability Royal Commission.
It’s still a good idea to get legal advice before taking part in the Disability Royal Commission.
There are different ways to protect yourself or someone else when sharing a story, idea or recommendation for change. There may also be other legal issues to consider.
Contact Your Story Disability Legal Support on 1800 77 1800 to discuss your options and to access free, independent legal support.
If you’re a member of the press and would like to arrange further comment or an interview, please contact: Kimberley Vlasic, Senior Communications Advisor, 0407 957 655, Kimberley.Vlasic@legalaid.nsw.gov.au