NSW to get ageing, disability commissioner

Disability Services Minister Gareth Ward hailed the legislation as an important milestone for NSW.
Disability Services Minister Gareth Ward hailed the legislation as an important milestone for NSW.

New South Wales will have an ageing and disability commissioner from July 1 with the power to investigate abuse, neglect and exploitation.

State parliament passed legislation on Thursday evening to establish the commission, which the government says will meet crucial needs of the state's most vulnerable people.

The commissioner will have the power to investigate issues that aren't being addressed by other complaint and investigative bodies.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward hailed the legislation as a watershed bill and important milestone.

"As the first minister for disabilities to have a disability, I'm proud to have helped introduce these important reforms into parliament," he said.

"This Bill goes beyond politics, and will help people feel safe and respected in their home and in the community."

The independent body will also have the power to compel information from individuals or organisations, and apply for and execute search warrants with the assistance of police.

Australian Associated Press