Page 1580 - Week 05 - Thursday, 5 May 2016

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The development of this bill, to guide the safe and proportionate operation of a restrictive environment like the secure mental health unit, is an innovation that the ACT can be proud of, and I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Jones) adjourned to the next sitting.

Mental Health Amendment Bill 2016

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 Capital Metro, Minister for Health, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Climate Change) (11.00): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce this bill to the Assembly today. The bill proposes amendments to the Mental Health Act 2015. The act is the legislation that commenced on 1 March this year and provides for the statutory options, entitlements and protections of people who use ACT mental health services.

The act provides for involuntary treatment of mental illnesses and mental disorders where needed. It aims to ensure that where possible people make their own treatment decisions, or participate in decisions to the extent that they can. It also imposes certain obligations on mental health service providers and provides for certain offences.

The act resulted from a comprehensive public review that the ACT conducted of the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994 between 2006 and 2013.

Since the act was enacted in September last year, there have been some additional elements that have been identified that would assist in the functioning of it. The bill I introduce today is an outcome of recommendations to clarify and expand on some elements of the act. It will also assist with the arrangements for the secure mental health unit which is scheduled to open later this year. The management of that facility will come under the Mental Health (Secure Facilities) Act, the bill for which I have just introduced.

The primary purpose of this bill is to provide for smooth transitions when lawful custody is required to transfer from the director-general under the Corrections Management Act 2007 or the Children and Young People Act 2008, to ACT Health. Such transfers will occur when people have a clinical need to be transferred to the secure mental health unit. The new unit, as I previously outlined, represents a significant investment in the ACT’s health infrastructure.

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