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27 September 2021

The findings of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability’s draft commissioner’s report into the vaccine rollout are deeply concerning.
The new report confirms there are grave fears people with disability will be left stranded in their homes, unable to safely re-join everyday life because the Morrison-Joyce Government won’t urgently vaccinate them.
The findings are long overdue and show the Morrison-Joyce Government has failed to protect people with disabilities at every stage of the vaccine rollout.
In answer to its findings, Labor today demands the Morrison-Joyce Government:

  1. Take immediate action for outreach to people with disability who are eligible and want to get vaccinated;
  2. Release a plan with clear timeframes to vaccinate all people with disability, carers and the disability care workforce and consider mandating vaccination among residential disability support workers;
  3. Ensure access to vaccinations, testing and resources for people with disability and their supporters;
  4. Publish up-to-date data on the number of people with disability who have been affected by COVID and disability vaccination rates;
  5. Make all data, resources and information about COVID-19 fully accessible to all Australians; and
  6. Stop cuts by stealth to disability supports under the cover of COVID.

On numerous occasions since the pandemic began, Labor has raised the alarm on the need for urgent prioritisation of people with disabilities.
This includes in August 2020, when we called for transparency on the number of people with disabilities who had contracted COVID-19.
And from early 2021, we have repeatedly asked for people with disability to be at the front of the vaccination rollout, including a cry for help to speed up just two weeks ago.
Not only did the Morrison Government ignore Australians with disability at the beginning of the pandemic, but they are also now being treated as an afterthought in the plans to open the nation up.
We know have less than four weeks before NSW’s lockdown ends, with Victoria to follow.
Labor does not want the lockdown schedule to be delayed. The Morrison-Joyce Government must commence a blitz on vaccinating all people with disabilities or we may see deaths that were avoidable.