The government is standing by the appointment of two commissioners to the royal commission into disability despite some concerns from the disability sector. However if elected to government Labor has stated it would review the two appointments in consultation with people with disability and advocates.

Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher said the panel of six commissioners is representative of a diverse range of backgrounds, which included lived experience of disability, judicial and policy experience, and Indigenous leadership.

“The two individuals in question have both been recognised for their significant contribution in their fields, as evidence by their receipt of the Public Service Medal and Member of the Order of Australia and any suggestions as to the validity of their appointment is without any foundation whatsoever,” the minister said.

“We will not be commenting on individual commissioner appointments. As with any royal commission, commissioners will be expected to declare any real or apparent conflicts so that they can be effectively managed throughout the inquiry.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison officially announced the establishment of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability in April. It will be chaired by Ronald Sackville QC supported by a panel that includes Dr Rhonda Galbally, Andrea Mason, John Ryan, Barbara Bennet and Alastair McEwin. The newly appointed commissioners will decide on the next steps in the coming months, including when to hold hearings and how people can participate.

The Australian Government has committed $527.9 million for the royal commission, which includes funding to support people with disability to participate.

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