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Review of confidentiality protections in the Royal Commissions Act

We are conducting a review of the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth) to examine any issues or impediments to people coming forward and sharing sensitive information with a royal commission.

We are consulting with stakeholders and members of the public, in particular people with disability and disability representative organisations, to inform this review.

Public consultation on the review

Provide your submission

As part of this review, we are seeking views from people with disability, their families and carers, and a range of disability support and advocacy bodies, to ensure we capture a robust understanding of any concerns.

Background

The Royal Commissions Amendment (Protection of Information) Act 2021 commenced on 11 September 2021. It enhances protections available to people engaging with the in the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (the Disability Royal Commission).

Following this legislation, the Attorney-General has asked us to undertake a review of the Act to examine if more can be done to encourage people to come forward and share personal and confidential accounts with a royal commission.

Terms of reference

Read the terms of reference for the review

We are also developing an Easy Read version that will be available soon.

The key objectives of the review are to:

  • identify any impediments that may prevent or discourage people from coming forward and sharing information with a royal commission
  • recommend policy or legislative options to address these impediments and facilitate greater public engagement with royal commissions, while ensuring royal commissions can still report transparent findings and recommendations.

We will publish our findings by the first quarter of 2022.

Stakeholder engagement

As part of the review we have also written directly to several disability representative organisations – these are listed below.

We are also consulting with the Disability Royal Commission and the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

  • Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
  • Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia
  • Blind Citizens Australia
  • Brain Injury Australia
  • Carers Australia
  • Children and Young People with Disability Australia
  • Deaf Australia
  • Deafblind Australia
  • Deafness Forum of Australia
  • Disability Advocacy Network Australia
  • Down Syndrome Australia
  • First Peoples Disability Network
  • Inclusion Australia
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services
  • National Ethnic Disability Alliance
  • People with Disability Australia
  • Physical Disability Australia
  • The National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum
  • Women with Disabilities Australia
  • Your Story Disability Legal Support

Contact and support

For information on the review or assistance in providing a submission, email royalcommissionsprotectionsreview@ag.gov.au.

The Australian Government is funding free and independent support services for people engaging with or affected by the Disability Royal Commission. Find out more on the Department of Social Services website.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs website provides information and support to those who serve or have served in defence of our nation, and their families.

The National Counselling and Referral Service provided by Blue Knot Foundation has been established to support people affected by the Disability Royal Commission: 1800 421 468.