Page 4658 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 November 2005

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second similarly alters the commencement clause of the Criminal Code (Administration of Justice Offences) Amendment Act. The amendments arise because consequential amendments to the Discrimination Act were dependent on the commencement provisions of the Human Rights Commission Act, which is yet to commence. Accordingly, these amendments are technical amendments to delay the coming into force of the amendments until the Human Rights Commission Act 2005 commences.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Ms Pattie Tancred

MR SPEAKER: I have a brief statement I would like to make in relation to one of our loyal staff. I would like to draw members’ attention to the fact that Ms Pattie Tancred, Hansard’s senior editor, is leaving us for three years to accompany her husband on an overseas posting. As this is Ms Tancred’s last Assembly sitting day, on behalf of all members I convey our thanks to her for the contribution she has made to recording the work of the Assembly, and wish her well during her time away from us.


Motion (by Mr Corbell) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Mental health

MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (5.53): I noted yesterday that the Minister for Health and my esteemed colleague Mr Jeff Kennett met in mutual admiration over mental health and the good work of the ACT government. Notwithstanding the interesting image of Mr Corbell and Mr Kennett in a tender embrace, I thought I should inform the Assembly of the harsh reality of the mental health system in the ACT.

From the outset I declare that this example comes from the experiences of one of my staff who, with his partner, spent Tuesday night trying to care for the mentally ill friend of his partner. The friend was extremely ill by the time my staffer and his partner found her, and she had not been able to look after herself for some days. The CAT team were rung at 7.15 pm. Originally they were too busy to send anyone out. After a second phone call, the CAT team said that they were unable to send anyone out until they could get a police escort for them. Over the next few hours, the friend’s condition rapidly deteriorated and no CAT team arrived, despite another two phone calls.

At 10.30 pm, the police were called as my staffer and his partner could no longer handle their friend, and the police promised the next available patrol. The CAT team and the police did not arrive until about 11.15 pm—four hours after the first call—by which time the friend was critically ill. Not once during the five phone calls made to the CAT team

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