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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 2019 ..


Extending the time frame for review also recognises the resourcing impact that successive public emergencies during 2020 have had on the Office of the Senior Practitioner and the sectors which are oversighted by the act. I will provide a summary interim report to this Assembly covering the work that has been undertaken so far by the end of February 2022.

The act contains provisions that both promote and limit human rights in order to regulate and reduce the use of restrictive practices on vulnerable people. During its development due regard was given to the act’s compatibility with human rights as set out in the Human Rights Act 2004. Because this bill extends the period of time before a review of the act is to occur, consideration had to be made that this extension may potentially engage and limit human rights as it may delay the identification of human rights concerns arising from the operation of existing legislation.

The act contains a range of protections devised to address potential human rights limitations, in particular the right to privacy and reputation and the right to liberty and security of person. For example, the act was designed to ensure that any restrictive practices permitted in positive behaviour support plans are the least restrictive way of protecting the person or other people from harm. Plans also must include strategies to support behaviour that will lead to a reduction in the use of restrictive practices.

Furthermore, the act includes a range of safeguards, including the requirement for authorisation of the plan by a panel, in accordance with guidelines and clear principles, consideration and registration by the Senior Practitioner, limited time frames for operation and review, reporting and monitoring requirements, and clear complaint and independent review mechanisms. It is also an offence to fail to report the use of a restrictive practice. I am confident that, in light of human rights scrutiny of the bill, the safeguards included in the act and the absolute importance of a robust and effective review, the extension is demonstrably justified.

The Senior Practitioner Act 2018 supports the ACT government's commitment to improving the lives of all people who are at risk and potentially subject to restrictive practices, as well as upholding their human rights. This bill will support the comprehensive evaluation of the legislative impacts of the act across all sectors. I take this opportunity to thank our community and sector partners for their participation in the consultation process and look forward to the outcomes of the review in 2023. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee

Report 5

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Davis): On behalf of the Speaker, I present the following report:

Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee—Report 5—Report on the Conduct of Mr Milligan MLA, dated 24 June 2021, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings—


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