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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (3 August) . . Page.. 3306..

MR WOOD (continuing):

does it require the co-ordinator to make an annual report. Section 36A merely states that the minister must appoint a care co-ordinator and that person must be a public servant.

The bill describes the functions of the care co-ordinator. This includes the requirement to co-ordinate the provision of appropriate treatment, care, and support, the provision of appropriately trained staff, and the provision of suitable residential facilities for persons on community care orders. Once a person is ordered to be detained the person may be secluded or restrained if the co-ordinator or delegate is satisfied that is the only means in the circumstances to prevent the person from causing harm to themselves or other people. The amendments require the co-ordinator to inform the Community Advocate in writing within 24 hours of the involuntary administration of medication, or seclusion, or restraint. The event and the reason will be recorded in the person's record and a register of such involuntary administration, medication, or seclusion or restraint will be kept.

The Mental Health Act is not only a legal document; it is used on a daily basis by human service workers and should also be expressed clearly to facilitate understanding and utilisation of the act. To achieve this, the relevant sections have been rewritten in plain language and now also provide two clear pathways within the act-a pathway for psychiatric treatment orders and a pathway for community care orders.

Mr Corbell stated when he introduced the bill that the government is committed to a full review of the Mental Health Act. It is five years since the recommendations of the last review were implemented in the 1999 amendments. Mental health acts in particular require frequent review to be kept current with mental health and human rights best practice. The coming review will include a review against the Human Rights Act 2004. This will give stakeholders in the community a period of time to judge these amendments as they are implemented in practice. The review will then be able to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the act as a coherent package. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.


MR SPEAKER: I welcome to the gallery year 5 and 6 students from Sts Peter and Paul Primary School, Garran.

Charitable Collections Amendment Bill 2004

Debate resumed from 1 April 2004, on the motion by Mr Wood:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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