Federal govt won't probe disability abuse

The federal government says it's up to the states to handle allegations of abuse at disability service providers.

The federal government has rejected calls for a national inquiry into the institutional abuse of people with a disability.

It comes amid demands for the sacking of the entire board of a disability service provider at the centre of rape and abuse complaints.

It's been alleged the Yooralla centre in Melbourne continued to employ abusive or corrupt staff despite warnings they preyed on disabled clients.

Sanjib Roy stepped down as chief executive of the Victorian facility on Monday as the accounts of alleged assault by carers were detailed in a joint ABC-Fairfax investigation.

Disability advocacy groups have called for the organisation's board to be dissolved, accusing its directors of failing to act on alleged corruption within and of not protecting clients.

United Voices for People with Disabilities has welcomed promises by both the Victorian coalition and Labor to hold a parliamentary inquiry into disability care if either won Saturday's election.

But it said only an independent national investigation would suffice, given extensive reports of abuse have been ignored by governments in the past.

"Enough is enough," United Voices chair Peter Cross said in a statement.

An online petition calling for action from Prime Minister Tony Abbott had gained more than 2000 supporters on Tuesday.

But the federal government has yet to warm to a federal inquiry, saying it is up to the states to police such matters.

Instead, it will closely study the outcome of the state inquiry to judge what lessons could be learned and applied at the national level.

Assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield said the states retained responsibility for disability services - including complaints and law enforcement - until the full roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme by 2019.

"It is important to be serious and sober when looking to respond to these matters," Senator Fifield told parliament.

Australian Greens have accused the government of hiding behind the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in refusing to budge on a wider inquiry.

Disability spokeswoman Rachel Siewert will on Wednesday call on the Senate to support a national inquiry - but has threatened to refer the matter to a Senate inquiry failing that.

"The government knows (abuse) is happening and they need to take national responsibility," Senator Siewert said.

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