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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

Strengthening protections for people living with disability

2013-09-13

A new bill introduced to Parliament today aims to strengthen the protections for South Australians living with disability.

Minister for Disabilities Tony Piccolo said the Disability Services (Rights, Protection and Inclusion) Amendment Billwas designed to promote the rights of people living with disability, and deliver greater protection.

"We are going through a period of unprecedented change when it comes to the provision of disability services," Mr Piccolo said.

"Through the transition to individualised funding and the introduction of DisabilityCare Australia, we're seeing people living with disability empowered to have greater control over the services they receive and how they receive them.

"And it's essential that we have the best possible protections afforded to people living with disability, so that they, their families and their carers can have greater confidence in the services they receive.

"This Bill has been developed in consultation with people living with disability, their advocates, their carers and members of the sector.

"It references the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a set of best practice principles to guide policy developments, funding decisions and the administration and provision of disability services.

"It aims to deliver stronger protection for people living with disability by ensuring disability service providers have accessible and well-publicised complaints and grievance procedures.

"Disability service providers will also need to have in place appropriate policies and procedures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of clients.

'And, the Bill encourages people to report allegations of inappropriate behaviour, by ensuring they are protected when they raise an issue in good faith.

"This will help to reassure people living with disability that they can receive the services they need in a safe and secure environment, and that their rights are being safeguarded."

Mr Piccolo said the Bill also contained a strong focus on ensuring people living with disability get the best possible outcomes from their funding.

"Through this Bill, the Government can make regulations to monitor the results for each client," he said.

"This will help ensure people living with disability get the best possible results from the services they receive."

Mr Piccolo said the Bill would also reinforce a person's right to choice and control in the services they receive by enshrining it in legislation.

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