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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3817..


Health-Standing Committee

Report No 6

MS TUCKER (10.35): I present the following report:

Health-Standing Committee-Report No 6-Report on recent reports concerning the mental health system, dated 16 October 2003 together with a copy of the relevant extracts of the minutes of proceedings.

I seek leave to move a motion authorising the report for publication.

Leave granted.

MS TUCKER: I move:

That the report be authorised for publication.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

MS TUCKER: I move:

That the report be noted.

Members are probably aware that the Standing Committee on Health did not give notice of this inquiry as only a short report is being tabled today. The Standing Committee on Health, which is interested in looking at the provision of mental health services in the ACT, produced two major reports-the Patterson report in December 2002, which investigated risk of harm to clients of Mental Health Services, and the Mann-La Roche report in May 2003, which examined issues concerning the psychiatry services unit. In about October 2002 those members of the Standing Committee on Health who toured Mental Health Services expressed concern about the psychiatry services unit.

I have been concerned for a number of years about that unit and about Mental Health Services. In about 1997 the Standing Committee on Health, which was chaired by me, conducted a full inquiry into the provision of mental health services in the ACT. The Standing Committee on Health decided not to commence another inquiry at this point because we already have the Patterson and Mann-La Roche reports. The government has made a commitment to address the serious issues that were highlighted in those reports-something for which it should be commended.

We are hoping that, as a result of the report I have tabled today, the government will make available to us quarterly briefings on the progress of those reports. If we are not satisfied with that progress, or if we have outstanding concerns, we might choose to undertake a more detailed inquiry into mental health issues. I could well announce an inquiry such as that at a later date. At this point in time I ask the government, through this report, to provide us with those quarterly briefings. The Standing Committee on Health, which is interested in the provision of mental health services, will be keeping a close watching brief on this issue.

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


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