Communities and Justice

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.

The Disability Royal Commission was tasked with investigating:

  • preventing and better protecting people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • achieving best practice in reporting, investigating and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability
  • promoting a more inclusive society that supports people with disability to be independent and live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The Disability Royal Commission has now finished its work and produced its final report. Over its four and a half years, the Royal Commission heard from roughly 10,000 people across Australia and considered evidence from 8,000 submissions, 1,800 private sessions, more than 800 witnesses and 32 public hearings.

The NSW Government supported the establishment of the Disability Royal Commission and is closely considering its final report.

In December 2022, the NSW Government provided a whole of government NSW Government Submission to the Disability Royal Commission. This submission detailed what NSW is doing to make mainstream service systems more accessible and inclusive for the state’s more than 1.3 million people with disability.

Disability Royal Commission Final Report

On 29 September 2023, the Disability Royal Commission released its Final Report. The final report has 12 volumes plus an additional introductory volume. It is available in Easy Read and Auslan. The introduction includes a foreword from the Chair, the Commission’s  vision for an inclusive Australia, an executive summary and the full list of recommendations.

The final report makes 222 recommendations covering a wide range of issues and systems to strengthen the rights and inclusion of people with disability.

Development of NSW Government Response

The NSW Government is carefully and methodically considering each of the 222 recommendations and is developing a formal response to the Disability Royal Commission’s final report. The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) is leading the whole of government response to the report and is committed to consulting with stakeholders to inform the development of the response.

The NSW Government is also collaborating with the Australian Government, and other state/territory governments in responding to the DRC final report. On 5 March 2024, Disability Ministers issued a joint national statement with an update on their responses to the DRC.

Joint statement on Australian state and territory responses to the Royal Commission into violence abuse neglect and exploitation of people with Disability. 

Stakeholder consultation on the DRC final report

The NSW Government called for submissions on the final report in January 2024. The purpose was to hear from stakeholders about their views on the Royal Commission’s recommendations. The submissions process has now closed. DCJ would like to acknowledge the stakeholders that prepared submissions. We are currently reviewing the submissions.

We are also hosting stakeholder consultation forums on the DRC final report to inform development of the NSW Government response.

DCJ and the Disability Council NSW co-convened an initial forum with stakeholders from the disability sector on Monday 23 October 2023 to discuss the Disability Royal Commission’s recommendations. You can read the stakeholder forum Communique (PDF, 147.3 KB).

On 1 February 2024, DCJ held a second stakeholder forum on the DRC final report. This forum focused on hearing views from First Nations communities about the final report. This forum was co-chaired by DCJ with First Peoples Disability Network, the Disability Council of NSW and Aboriginal Affairs NSW.  You can read the forum communique (PDF, 335.1 KB) attached.


Each state has a counselling and advocacy services funded by the government to support people impacted by the Disability Royal Commission. Information on NSW services can be found on the Australian Government Department of Social Services website.

People can also contact the National Counselling and Referral Service for counselling support, or to be referred to an independent advocate, legal service, or other support services. The number to call is 1800 421 468 or (02) 6146 1468. The service is available 9am–6pm AEDT weekdays and 9am–5pm AEDT weekends.


If you have a question about DCJs role in responding to the Disability Royal Commission, please email the Department’s Disability Royal Commission Team at

Last updated:

04 Apr 2024