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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (9 June) . .

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opposition previously, which is that the provisions as drafted are, in our view, and in the view of parliamentary counsel, the most effective in requiring notification to the Public Advocate as soon as possible. That places a clear onus on relevant officials to make those notifications promptly. As I will say if we discuss this matter in the detail stage, it also means that the check on failure to do that is the reporting and oversight of the Public Advocate. The obligation on the officials is to notify as soon as possible, and if the Public Advocate feels that is not occurring then the Public Advocate, as the independent oversight statutory office holder, is able to inquire into that, report on that and require better performance. So there is a very clear check through the functions of the Public Advocate. However, we can discuss that further, should we need to, in the detail stage.

Finally, I would simply make the observation that these provisions are important. Having detainees or young detainees being provided with treatment, care or support for mental illness or mental disorder can have significant therapeutic benefits, as well as ensuring that it provides the most appropriate care setting. The technical amendments in this bill will provide for further inclusion of carers and other close people supporting a person living with mental illness. I thank members for their support of the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MRS JONES (Molonglo) (5.24), by leave: I move amendments Nos 1 to 3 circulated in my name together [see schedule 1 at page 2027].

I have explained my rationale. My concerns were around an unlimited time frame. I understand that the government take a different view, and it is reasonable for them to do so. I do feel strongly about this. There is the capacity to go back and review if such provisions are being undertaken in a way that the Public Advocate does not believe to be acceptably fast, and for them to perhaps publicly state so. However, I believe that in the interest of the human rights of the individuals, and given that there was a set time frame which was apparently difficult to adhere to, a reasonable set time frame would actually give an assurance to those in the system.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Corrections, Minister for Education, Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs and Minister for Road Safety) (5.26): I rise to speak briefly on these amendments. I have listened carefully to the point Mrs Jones has made, and I have given it a bit of thought. I will not be supporting the amendments, but she has raised an interesting point. The reason I will not support them is that at this point a lot of work has gone into this legislation. There has been a very extensive consultation process, and I am not clear that 48 hours, as proposed by Mrs Jones, is the right number.


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