Page 835 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 April 2014

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recommendation is made regardless of the availability of a secure forensic mental health facility in the ACT and should not be delayed pending the construction of such a facility. The government agrees in principle that custody should transfer to ACT Health.

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, he is having a go at it, but I am not sure that he is being directly relevant to the question.

MADAM SPEAKER: Stop the clock, please.

Mr Hanson: Simply reading the recommendations of a report that we have already read does not really suffice, Madam Speaker. If the minister can be directly relevant, the question was: what other options were considered and are available to Health and prison staff to handle such cases?

MADAM SPEAKER: I understand the point of order. I think the point of order has merit, but in listening to the acting minister’s answer, I was thinking that he was getting there, so I would allow some latitude. But I would remind the minister to be directly relevant to the question: what other options are available or were considered?

MR BARR: Madam Speaker, as I was saying, the Health Directorate is working towards an objective to establish a purpose-built secure mental health facility. This is, as we have seen debated considerably in this place, an urgent priority and is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2016. The question of the aligning of the timing of transfer of custody arrangements with that facility becoming available is one that the government needs to consider.

In the context of the mental health act review and new standard operating procedures and collaborations, that ought to provide more options to address the issues that the Leader of the Opposition has raised. Two service areas are involved—

Mr Hanson: I have another point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Barr, will you sit down, please.

Mr Hanson: I asked the minister to be specifically relevant to what options are available to Health and corrections officers. He is talking about a mental health facility that does not even exist, so it is clearly not available. And he is talking about a review of the mental health act. What I need to know, and what I am asking, is: what are the options available right now to start to deal with these sorts of cases?

MADAM SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. It is clear that the minister has not yet come to the issues about what options are available, and I would ask the minister to come to the point of the question.

MR BARR: They are somewhat limited, Madam Speaker, as I am attempting to explain. The two service areas that are involved in this case, mental health and corrections, are working to provide improved services. We acknowledge that the use of mechanical constraints in a therapeutic context is not optimal and may potentially

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