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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 3231..


MR MOORE (continuing):

section refers only to the authorisation of involuntary detention, which is a matter for a medical practitioner to determine. The Bill removes the reference to mental health officers from section 41.

The fourth amendment changes section 43 of the Act. Section 43 of the Act requires a psychiatrist to conduct a "physical and psychiatric examination" of a person under emergency detention within 24 hours of the person's detention. The main aim of this section is to ensure that a person under emergency detention receives both a physical and psychiatric examination within 24 hours of their detention. It is appropriate in most cases that the physical examination be undertaken by a medical officer or a registrar, with the psychiatrist able to concentrate on performing the necessary psychiatric examination. This amendment provides for this approach.

Finally, the fifth amendment rectifies an anomaly in section 15. This section provides two sets of criteria which enable the referral of an alleged offender to the Mental Health Tribunal where the referring officer considers that the person may have allegedly committed an offence due to a mental illness or mental dysfunction. The criteria are, firstly, that an alleged offender must be at risk to their own or other's safety; secondly, that it is not appropriate to continue prosecution due to the mental condition of the alleged offender. However, section 15 does not state whether both criteria must be met, or if only one criterion must be satisfied for a referral. This is a drafting error. It was always the Government's intention that both criteria should be met before a referral takes place. The fifth amendment rectifies this anomaly by placing the word "and" between the two sets of criteria.

The proposed amendments do not change the direction or the nature of the Mental Health Act. The Bill simply removes a number of inconsistencies in the Act which was passed in June 1999.

Debate (on motion by Mr Wood ) adjourned.

ACT DRUG STRATEGY 1999 - FROM HARM TO HOPE

Paper

[COGNATE PAPER:

ILLICIT DRUG USE - NATIONAL APPROACH: COAG ILLICIT DRUGS DIVERSION INITIATIVE - Paper]

Debate resumed from 12 October 1999, on motion by Ms Carnell:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.


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