Media Release - Review of the Community Services (Complaints, Appeals and Monitoring) Act 1993 and Review of the Disability Services Act 1993

The Disability Services Act 1993 (DSA) seeks to ensure that people with disabilities have the same basic human rights as other members of the community and it sets out ways this policy objective should be met.

The Community Services (Complaints, Appeals and Monitoring) Act 1993 (CAMA) sets up a system for dealing with complaints by people who receive services from agencies funded by the government. It also establishes a system to review government decisions affecting children and people with disabilities.

Both Acts were passed in 1993 and were required to be reviewed after they had been in operation for 5 years. The Acts reflected a new approach to service provision to people with disabilities and provided a significant impetus to moving people out of large institutions.

The Law Reform Commission today released two issues papers as part of its review of these Acts.

In Issues Paper 15: Review of the Community Services (Complaints, Appeals and Monitoring) Act 1993, the Commission raises the following queries:

  • Has the availability of merits review improved government decision-making in this area?
  • Are the Community Services Commission and the Community Services Appeals Tribunal sufficiently independent of government in carrying out their functions?
  • Which persons or organisations should be able to challenge decisions of the Minister?

In Issues Paper 16: Review of the Disability Services Act 1993, the Commission raises the following queries:

  • Is the bill of rights approach to the provision of services appropriate?
  • Does the legislation enable people with disabilities to enforce their rights?
  • What are the resource implications of enforcing these rights?
  • Should the Act be extended to cover boarding houses?

Media Contact:

Mr Peter Hennessy (Executive Director) on (02) 9228 8230.