The Royal Commissions – general promotion | Yeah, but - what actually IS a royal commission?

Royal Commission Gong Life Care Solutions

The Royal Commissions – general promotion | Yeah, but - what actually IS a royal commission?

We hear it mentioned all the time, because there have been so many in Australia!! Royal Commissions. There have been 135 of them (just at the federal level), since Federation.

The two current Royal Commissions that are of exceptional interest to our team  at Gong Life Care Solutions (GLCS), and to our customers and suppliers, are the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in Australia, and the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability - sometimes referred to as the Disability Royal Commission.

We are vitally interested because so many individuals, families and communities are affected by issues that are being investigated by these Royal Commissions. People who are our families, our communities, our customers.

We would like to offer you some brief information about these two Royal Commissions for your general interest, or to assist you in providing some input to the commissions before time runs out.

So to answer the question – what actually is a royal commission? see this excerpt from the independent news site:

“Royal commissions are a type of “public inquiry”. Public inquiries are temporary ad hoc bodies appointed by executive government to provide advice or to investigate some issue; whose members are drawn from outside government; have public processes; seek community input and release their reports.

“What distinguishes royal commissions from most other public inquiries is that they are established under specific legislation that confers specific powers of investigation on them. At the Commonwealth levels that legislation is the Royal Commission Act 1902. It was one of the first pieces of legislation introduced in federal parliament by then Attorney General, later Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin. Royal commissions had been appointed by the states prior to federation.

“Such legislation conferred wide ranging coercive powers of investigation on these royal commissions (e.g. abilities to call and cross-examine witnesses, obtain evidence, rights of entry, phone-tapping) while also providing protection to witnesses and inquiry members from legal action such as defamation.

“Royal commissions can be inquisitorial/investigatory appointed to investigate allegations of impropriety and maladministration, or some catastrophic event (e.g. flood, bushfire or accident). Inquisitorial inquiries focus on finding the “truth” about an allegation or incident and are therefore inquisitorial by nature and process. This is where their powers of investigation are most used.

“Royal commissions have been used to investigate misconduct in particular sectors such as financial services, child protection, home insulation, drug trafficking and more recently banks, aged care and disability care. 

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in Australia

Most people are aware that there’s a Royal Commission into aged care quality and safety in Australia, currently in progress. This Royal Commission began on 8th October 2018.  It was established to determine the full extent of the problems in Australia’s aged care system and how best to meet the challenges and the opportunities of delivering aged care now and into the future.

The work of the Commission is almost completed, but public submissions can be made until 30 April 2020, and the Final Report is due on 12th  November 2020.  An interim report called “Neglect” is available to read online, or download or print out. It is very large.

To date, the Commission has received 8,058 submissions and  5,513 telephone calls to the information line. This month’s most common concerns have been “staffing issues including ratios”.

The website of the Royal Commission tells you how you can provide information to the Commission. This includes how to make a submission, and when and where to attend public hearings and community forums around Australia. You can complete an online form to provide information to the Commission, either by typing or speaking it into the online form, or by printing out the form and filling it in by hand. The other options are:

  • write to the Royal Commission at GPO Box 1151 Adelaide SA 5001.
  • email ACRCenquiries@royalcommission.gov.au
  • telephone 1800 960 711 (between 8:00am-6:30pm Monday-Friday except on public holidays. Interpreter service available).

https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/submissions/Pages/default.aspx

The website also provides a transparent source of information to the public. Apart from the Interim report, other information is provided via live webcasts, video recordings of previous hearings, and written transcripts. All submissions made to the Commission are available for you to read.

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

The Disability Royal Commission was established in April 2019 in response to community concern about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability. These incidents might have happened recently or a long time ago. The Disability Royal Commission will investigate and report on experiences and conditions in all settings and contexts, including:

  • schools
  • workplaces
  • jails
  • group homes or boarding houses
  • family homes
  • hospitals
  • day programs

An Interim Report is due no later than 30 October 2020 and a Final Report due no later than 29 April 2022. To date 564  submissions have been received, and 2,665 phone enquiries. Four Issues papers have been published and there have been 72 responses to these issues papers. Issues papers produced to date include the following topics: justice system, health care for people with cognitive difficulty, education and learning, and group homes.

Public hearings around the country are continuing, and the schedule can be found at this website:  https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/public-hearings

The Commission has developed an accessibility strategy in consultation with people with disabilities.  Their website also works well across the majority of popular web browsers. Download times have been minimized, and the site enables all Australians, including those with a disability or with technical limitations, to access the information on the site via various techniques including screen readers or by listening to the information. It complies with the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Are you caring for someone at home?

As you know, everyone has needs that are quite specific to them, as individuals. For the elderly or people with a disability, simple everyday tasks can become challenging.  The team at Gong Life Care Solutions have worked in the aged, health and disability care sectors for many years and understand the respect and care required to meet the individual needs of our community members, in whatever setting  the person is residing – either living independently or in home care or a care facility.

We are mobility equipment suppliers, and we assist individuals or families to help a person to live independently as far as possible.

Gong Life Care Solutions is located in the Wollongong area, on the south coast near Sydney. We offer a specialized range of aged care supplies and other products to assist with daily living needs and personal care.  We are a responsible family business supporting social initiatives and activities to improve the quality of life within our local community.

Our products are designed for both user and carer, and are high quality, European designed, and TGA approved.  We even have some award winners, like our ergonomic Strongback Wheelchair24, which recently won the German Design Award for the second time!

See it here - https://gonglcs.com.au/products/3-strongback-24-wheelchair-18-inch-seat-width

And check out our innovative Aquabuddy-Home shower in bed system, better than traditional bed baths or using a cumbersome shower bathing trolley!

See these and other supplies on our website, and call our friendly team for more information - 1300 907 280 (Tues to Fri 8.00am – 5.00pm AEDT).

Gong Life Care Solutions representatives listen and provide a supportive personalized service to all who turn to them for Life Care Products.

We are a registered NDIS Provider, and we guarantee competitive prices and provide valuable after sales service and support. https://gonglcs.com.au

We offer free delivery anywhere in Australia.

Reference

Scott Prasser, Executive Director, Public Policy Institute, Australian Catholic University published in The Conversation. November 13, 2012,  https://theconversation.com/royal-commissions-how-do-they-work-10668

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