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5 April 2019

MS Australia (MSA) welcomes today’s announcement by the Prime Minister, of the Royal Commission into Disability and his commitment, dedication and recognition of the challenges faced by people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

It’s important that this inquiry develops a fuller picture of these challenges and makes detailed recommendations for change.

MS Australia works closely with all sides of politics to make changes to improve the lives of people living with multiple sclerosis. That’s why this inquiry is so important.

MSA joins with other disability organisations to welcome this Royal Commission and we support the comments made today by People with Disability Australia, namely:

People with disability across the country have been calling for this Royal Commission for many years, so the three year time period allowed for the Commission to investigate and report is welcome.

Due to the appalling rates of violence against people with disability, there will be opportunities for justice, healing and prevention. There is no limit on when abuse occurred, so that people who have been living with the consequences of abuse from years ago, will finally be able to tell their stories and we may see some healing.

The Royal Commission will cover all people with disability in all settings and contexts, and whilst the Commission will be based in Brisbane, it’s very positive that hearings will take place around the country.

(PWDA) Welcomes the provision of $100 million for advocacy and supports, to enable people to fully engage with, and participate in, the Commission.

MS Australia, like PWDA, also congratulates the new Commissioners on their appointment, especially welcoming those Commissioners with a lived experience of disability.

And we also agree that, This Royal Commission is a real step towards justice.

About MS

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition affecting the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
  • It is the most common chronic neurological condition diagnosed in young adults.
  • Over 25,600 people throughout Australia live with MS (and more than 2.3 million worldwide).
  • MS is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40.
  • 75% of people diagnosed are women.
  • The economic impact of MS on the Australian economy is close to $2 billion annually.
  • MS varies significantly from person to person. For some, it is a disease that comes and goes in severity with periods of unpredictable relapse and remission. For others it means a progressive decline over time. For all, it is life changing.
  • Symptoms vary between people and can come and go; they can include severe pain, walking difficulties, debilitating fatigue, partial blindness and thinking and memory problems.
  • There is currently no known cause or cure.

Source: MS Australia Key facts and figures about multiple sclerosis

– Media Statement ends –

UPDATE 8/4/19: We support Disabled People’s Organisation Australia (DPOA) in their call for two of the Commissioners to step down. Read their media release here: