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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 8 Hansard (30 June) . . Page.. 2505..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

advice of a tribunal psychiatrist and community member. The Community Advocate, discrimination commissioner and the person's agent or legal representative all have the right to attend and give evidence at the hearing. It is worth noting also that the bill does not propose to make provision for emergency ECT treatment for minors under the age of 16 years.

It is predicted that this order will be used only in exceptional circumstances, for around two people per year. I will be monitoring closely the circumstances and the number of times this amendment is invoked. In the longer term Mr Stanhope, as the Attorney-General, and I have committed the government to a full review of the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994, starting during this calendar year. This amendment will be part of that review. It is five years since the recommendations of the last review were implemented in the 1999 amendments. Mental health acts require frequent review to be kept current with mental health and human rights best practice. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Human Rights Commission (Children and Young People Commissioner) Amendment Bill 2005

Ms Gallagher , pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo-Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.45): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Human Rights Commission (Children and Young People Commissioner) Amendment Bill 2005 is a further step in the government's delivery of its vision for children and young people in the ACT. Complementing its introduction is the Public Advocate Bill 2005. The Public Advocate Bill 2005 contains rewritten provisions from the Community Advocate Act 1991 and changes the name of this position from Community Advocate to Public Advocate. All the provisions that were in the Community Advocate Act have been transferred to the Public Advocate Bill. In addition, statutory provision has been made for the delegation of functions relating to the appointment, as a guardian or manager under the Guardianship and Management of Property Act 1991, of senior officers within the Office of the Public Advocate.

The government is committed to establishing an independent Children and Young People Commissioner to promote and protect the interests of children and young people in the ACT. The Human Rights Commission (Children and Young People Commissioner) Amendment Bill 2005 amends the Human Rights Commission Bill 2005 to establish the role of the Children and Young People Commissioner within the Human Rights Commission.


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