The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) Annual Report 2022-23 has been tabled in Parliament. This report reveals critical insights into the issues negatively impacting the rights and interests of people with disabilities and vulnerable adults in Victoria.
In 2022-2023, OPA responded to a staggering 8020 enquiries, including 426 cases where abuse or neglect of a person with a disability was suspected or confirmed.
OPA is calling on the Victorian government to provide a new or existing agency with the function to receive and assess reports of suspected violence, abuse, neglect, or exploitation of at-risk adults. Guardianship should not be the only way to safeguard the human rights of at-risk adults living in the community.
In addition, OPA is advocating for changes to NDIS information sharing limitations to better safeguard NDIS participants. These limitations hinder OPA's Community Visitors Program in its essential safeguarding role by preventing access to the addresses of properties they are authorised to visit.
The 2023 annual report also reflects OPA's systemic advocacy efforts, including submissions, hearings, public presentations, reports, and position statements.