TWO DEAD AND THREE HOSPITALISED BUT MINISTER SILENT

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The Labor Opposition is calling on Disability Services Minister Ray Williams to fully disclose what he knows about the deaths of two people with disability that were in care in Newcastle.

Two people have died from suspected dehydration and three others are in hospital in a critical condition after they were all transferred from the Stockton Centre to a group home.

Despite the seriousness of the events, Minister Williams has failed to give adequate explanation of the circumstances of the deaths or assurances that proper care and oversights are in place – causing great stress to the families of people with disability in care.

Last month, Shadow Disability Services Minister Sophie Cotsis, Shadow Minister for the Hunter Kate Washington and Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp demanded a briefing from the Minister.

After a second person with disability died under the same circumstances last week, Minister Williams was asked again via letter - what safeguards, oversights and clinical governances are in place to guarantee these tragedies do not continue?

The federal minister in charge of the NDIS scheme, Christian Porter, said earlier this week that ultimately it falls to state and territory governments to oversee the implementation of care for people with disability.

NSW Labor is demanding the government conducts a thorough, independent and transparent investigation into the tragedies and for Premier Gladys Berejiklian to step-in and order Ray Williams to implement the checks and balances needed or to stand him aside.

It comes as both Federal and State Labor call for a Royal Commission into violence, neglect and abuse of people with disability.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley  

“The Berejiklian government cannot wash its hands of its duty of care to people with disability in group homes in NSW.

“The people of NSW have every right to demand assurances that the proper care, support and clinical governances are in place – and that no more lives are being put at risk.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Disability Services Sophie Cotsis

 “Ray Williams must stop the cover-up and make a clear parliamentary statement on what caused these tragedies.

The Minister must also provide assurance that people in these group homes are receiving the appropriate medical and specialist care.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Hunter Kate Washington

“The State government can no longer dismiss the concerns of families, loved ones, professionals and advocates.

It is unacceptable that the systems are not in place to support the Stockton residents in group homes.”