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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 July 2019) . . Page.. 2423 ..


While I welcome the government response, a lot more needs to be done in this space. There was a clear expectation that the government was somewhat champing at the bit to receive the committee’s recommendations because, it was put to the committee, the government wanted to make budget allocations in the palliative care space. I was very disappointed to see the paucity of budget initiatives in relation to the palliative care space. I do not think that the government is alive to the issues in palliative care and the urgency of some of those issues.

One of the things that I found particularly distressing was the recommendation in relation to counselling and assistance for staff who work in palliative care. Quite frankly, Mr Assistant Speaker, we would not have made that recommendation if we had not received evidence that there was not enough assistance and counselling in that space. The minister came back and said, “It is all right; everything is fine.” Some of the evidence we heard was that the extent of counselling and assistance that was given to staff was: “Suck it up; have a drink of wine when you go home.” It is not good enough.

Again, the staff are being disregarded by this so-called labour government, the workers’ friends. The workers who work in the health system, who work in palliative care, are not being supported and assisted, by their own evidence. And when the evidence is there, the minister turns around and says, “Of course there should be counselling; we are already doing that.”

That was the tone of much of the government response. This was an important piece of work. It was done collaboratively. You had cross-parliamentary support for significant initiatives in relation to enduring powers of attorney, ongoing care directives and palliative care. What we got back from the government was a bit of a damp squib.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

ACT Mental Health Act 2015—review of the authorised period of emergency detention

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Advanced Technology and Space Industries) (3.18): Pursuant to standing order 211, I move:

That the Assembly take note of the following paper:

ACT Mental Health Act 2015—Review of the Authorised Period of Emergency Detention.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Corrections and Justice Health, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety and Minister for Mental Health) (3.18): I am pleased to table the report of the review of the Mental Health Act 2015, section 85, which relates to the


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