Labor increases pressure for PM to dump disability commissioners

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus says the government would have triggered the police raids. Source: AAP

Labor is urging the prime minister to listen to Australians with disability and dump the two royal commissioners over potential conflicts of interest.

Labor has renewed calls to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to dump two disability royal commissioners over potential conflicts of interest, fearing it will destroy the integrity of the inquiry.

The federal government is sticking by the commissioners - Barbara Bennett and John Ryan - despite the Senate also calling on for them to be removed.

Prime Minister Scott MorrisonPrime Minister Scott Morrison.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

"Australians with disability are telling you that you made a mistake when you appointed John Ryan and Barbara Bennett as royal commissioners," shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus posed to Mr Morrison on Wednesday.

"The integrity of this royal commission is more important than a prime minister's pride, it is more important than a prime minister's ego.

"How can we hope to truly understand how people in disability live in this country if we do not hear from them?"

Ms Bennett worked for the federal government department which oversees the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

John Ryan has been appointed to the disability royal commission.
John Ryan has been appointed to the disability royal commission.

Mr Ryan, a former state Liberal politician turned public servant, was a senior bureaucrat in community services and disability.

The motion from the Senate will eventually be sunk in the lower house due to the government's majority, but the vote has not yet occurred.

Mr Dreyfus put pressure on the government over the commissioners during debate on a bill which allows for private sessions to occur during the inquiry, which Labor supports.

The bill passed the lower house and is on its way to the Senate, where Centre Alliance will introduce amendments.

Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie said the changes will focus on the timeliness of tabling reports, and ensure indigenous communities are consulted if parts of the inquiry will have an impact on Aboriginal people.

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