Page 2036 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 June 2015

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The bill represents an important first step to further improve the ACT’s liquor regulatory regime. I look forward to continuing to work with key stakeholders and the broader community throughout the course of this year on the other important issues raised in the review. I stress that this is only the first round of reforms I anticipate will be brought forward to this place as a result of the review of the Liquor Act.

The government remains committed to ensuring that any reforms balance the needs of the community and the liquor industry by requiring licensees to better manage the risks associated with the sale and consumption of liquor within the framework of the expectations and aspirations of our community. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Mental Health Bill 2015

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (10.33): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to be able to introduce this bill today. This bill is a companion piece to the amendments to the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994 adopted in this place last year in the form of the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Amendment Act. If passed, it is intended that those amendments, and amendments provided for by this bill, would commence together in November 2015.

It is important to consolidate and modernise all of this legislation, as it is for the protection of the rights and interests of people with mental illness or disorder and their significant others, such as carers. It is also legislation for the regulation of community and facility-based assessment, treatment and care services delivered daily by health and other professionals who work with people with mental illness or disorder. In other words, this is legislation that is central to the health and wellbeing of all members of our community and to the operation of the ACT health system.

Apart from bringing the ACT’s mental health legislation into a single, contemporary statute, this bill provides for enhancement of a number of provisions in the ACT’s current mental health legislation. For instance, chapter 6 clarifies the current provisions on emergency detention of people with mental illness or disorder who are at serious risk and builds extra safeguards into those provisions. Chapter 9 similarly increases the safeguards on the delivery of electroconvulsive therapy and psychiatric surgery. All of these clauses are predicated on respecting the capacity of a person with mental illness or disorder to make their own decisions and respecting the knowledge and experience their carers may have of their personal circumstances.

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