Wagga advocates for people with disabilities have high hopes a new commissioner will slash red tape and investigate all cases of abuse.
On Monday, the NSW Government introduced a bill to create the first independent Ageing and Disability Commissioner.
The commissioner will be given the power to initiate investigations into allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation and compel information from individual or organisations, as well as apply for and execute a search warrant to conduct an investigation.
Deborah Bewick, mum to a 24-year-old daughter with autism and president of the Wagga autism support group, said she is hopeful the new commissioner will help those who need it most.
"Anything to strengthen our support and protect people with disabilities and those who are ageing is really good," she said.
"It will help also the problems that we are having with the NDIS. It will add to the way we get support and to cut some through of the red tape."
Ms Bewick said it is important for an independent body to be available to investigate and hold organisations and people to account.
"There always needs to be someone watching what everybody is doing just to make sure everything is OK," she said. "You hear the horror stories. I am not aware of anything particular in Wagga, but wherever there are vulnerable people someone will try to take advantage."
Ms Bewick also had an arduous process with NDIS, trying to organise a plan for her daughter.
"We also know of cases where families are rejected multiple times because they don't have enough proof, but the NDIA is just ignoring the proof that is there," she said.
Riverina Disability Advocacy Service executive officer Martin Butcher said he hopes to see the commissioner effectively deal with issues those with disabilities are facing.
"People outside the NDIS have nowhere to take their complaints," he said.
"Any abuse and neglect that is in mainstream communities will be able to be addressed ... we will find in due course that the abuse and neglect of people with disabilities is prevalent."
Mr Butcher said the RDAS is always available for those who have queries or concerns.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the role of the Commissioner fills a gap currently not addressed by complaint and investigative bodies.
"A number of public inquiries and reviews have highlighted opportunities for Government to strengthen safeguards for people with disability and older people," he said.
"We will consider these recommendations and support the people this commission will seek to protect."
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