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Public inquiry into the treatment of people with intellectual disability in NSW

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The New South Wales Council for Intellectual Disability Media Release


Embargoed until: 11 am Thursday November 30, 1995

Public Inquiry into the treatment of people with intellectual disability In NSW irvt

rights abuses, a drastic lack of support services and Government neglect towards people with intellectual disability in NSW. It is disturbing that many of these Reports have not been acted upon, or are being controlled Internally by agencies such as the Department of Community Services. (See full list of Reports In the Media kit).

The NSW Council for Intellectual Disability believes these Reports detail evidence of serious State neglect of the most vulnerable group of people in our society, and the NSW Council is now calling for an Open Inquiry Into the treatment of people with intellectual disability In NSW. Particularly disturbing is:

• Evidence of malnutrition in six Department of Community Services Institutions: The Stockton Centre - Newcastle Marsden/Rydalmere - Sydney The Lachlan Centre - Sydney The Riverside Centre - Orange The Qrosvenor Centre - Sydney The Barlnga Centre - Wollongong

• Human rights violations alleged (in many cases proven) in government institutions at: Marsden Residential Centre Rydalmere Residential Centre

Lachlan Residential Centre Peat Island Centre

• Appalling conditions in private-for-profit Boarding Houses in NSW. • Evidence of Increasing numbers of young people with intellectual disability homeless and on the streets. • Continuing allegations to Council about negligence (and worse), resulting 'deaths

in care'. • Allegations of abuse and/or poor quality care regarding 'children in care' and in out of school facilities. • Evidence of the failure of the Education system to provide sufficient supports for

children with Intellectual disability In mainstream schooling.

Time and time again, Governments call for Reports, Task Forces, Committees of Practice - and then do not act upon them", said the Chairperson of the Council, John Jacobsen. “Minister after minister rises and rhetorises about their

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Intent, simply as a means of covering neglect and Inaction. The current Minister for Disability has yet to prove he is one lota better than the rest".

“Enough is enough”, continued John Jacobsen. “The time has come where an Open Inquiry must be established which can detail the neglect of governments, and present the community with a plan of action. This plan must include ways of

funding the supports needed to ensure people with intellectual disability can achieve their full human potential and not be discarded to the streets as is happening now". .

John Jacobsen went on to say: "If parents treated their children the way that society and the government are treating those who are unable to attain full autonomy and control over their own lives, then they would be (and are), cited for child abuse".

Council believes the exploitation of families Is particularly disturbing. Governments are not providing the suppport services required to ensure people with Intellectual disability have the same quality of life we expect for ourselves. If people with intellectual disability had support which Is appropriate to their individual needs,

(whether in the family home or In the community), they would be able to achieve their own goals and give families the chance to realise theirs. Instead, families are being exploited ruthlesslessly, particularly women as the principal carer.

“Male dominated Parliaments around Australia are abusing and exploiting families, and particularly women as the principal carer a very ugly way. They have plenty of money for grand re-election projects whilst they ignore their responsibilities to the most vulnerable In society", said John Jacobsen.

The call for an Open Inquiry will be made at a Media Conference by the Chairperson of Council, John Jacobsen:

Date: 29 November Time: 11am

Place: The NSW Council for Intellectual Disability 3rd Floor 22-36 Mountain St BROADWAY

Contact for details and media kit: Sonya Price-Kelly, 211 1611.