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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 57..


Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Ms Gallagher, one moment, please.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! Order, Mr Hanson!

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker, you have constantly asked Mr Hanson to stop interjecting. One of the interjections he did after you asked him that was that the Chief Minister had broken a promise. I believe that to be unparliamentary. It should be withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Let us just move on.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves! Mr Hanson! Ms Hunter, you have the floor for a supplementary question.

MS HUNTER: Minister, is it potentially a breach of someone's human rights if they are experiencing a mental illness and do not receive the required treatment or if they are released from the PSU but remanded in custody?

MS GALLAGHER: Decisions about whether someone suffering from a mental illness is suitable for admission to the psychiatric unit are decisions taken by clinicians. They are taken by treating psychiatrists. At times people can be unwell and still be deemed not to be suffering from a psychiatric illness that requires admission and withholding of liberty into the psychiatric unit. These areas are complex. There is no easy answer to these individual situations when they arise, particularly when you are dealing with people with a very challenging set of circumstances.

I have no reason to believe, again, that the Health Directorate has done anything but act in accordance with the processes that it has in place and also with the laws around detaining people for the purpose of psychiatric treatment if a psychiatrist does not believe they are psychiatrically unwell. So that does present a challenge, because we are talking about withholding of liberty. This is often complex, particularly when individuals do not agree with that action and family members may believe that it is the best way forward. You are not always going to get the outcome that pleases everybody. The challenge for us, in a small system like this, is to look at what other supports we can provide to that individual to make sure that they are taken care of and supported in the most optimum of circumstances.

Prisons—costs

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Corrections. I refer to chapter 8 of the Productivity Commission report on government services 2012 and ask: why did the ACT have the highest total cost per prisoner per day for 2010-11?


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