Page 4657 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017

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Implementation of the government’s response to the independent inquiry into the treatment in custody of Mr Steven Freeman by Mr Phillip Moss AM is being progressed by government and overseen by a high-level steering committee chaired by Mr Russell Taylor AM. As part of the government’s response to the Moss review, I am committed to establishing a dedicated inspectorate of custodial services to be operational by the end of 2017. I was pleased to introduce the bill establishing this role last week to ensure that our correctional facilities operate at the highest of standards, as our community rightly expects. Recruitment for this important role is now underway.

The government is committed to implementing justice reinvestment approaches in the ACT and reducing recidivism rates. In partnership with Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services and the government, the Yarrabi Bamirr justice reinvestment trial commenced early this year. Yarrabi Bamirr involves the use of community based family-centric service support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families that have contact with the justice system and aims to improve life outcomes for the whole family and reduce or prevent any contact with the justice system.

In consumer affairs, compliance, investigation and awareness work for Access Canberra in the past year has particularly focused on plastic bags provision, liquor off-licence requirements, egg labelling and tobacco displays, as well as overall consumer protections and product safety work. Another key focus has been consumer rights awareness for people with disabilities and for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds as well as awareness of social media scams.

There has been considerable progress in the road safety area of my portfolio, including the new learn-to-ride centres at Tuggeranong and Belconnen; the Australasian new car assessment program campaign, which promotes the road safety benefits of newer cars; the segway review, which paved the way for laws to broaden the areas where segway-type vehicles can be used; and the passing of the Road Transport Reform (Light Rail) Act 2017, which incorporates light rail into the existing road transport system.

Let me finally turn to mental health. The Dhulwa Mental Health Unit was opened in November 2016 and provides 24-hour treatment and care for adults with complex mental health needs that cannot be met elsewhere in Canberra. Dhulwa focuses on providing a safe environment without compromising therapeutic care and provides patients with exercise, social and cultural activities as well as opportunities to develop their skills and interests such as in gardening, arts, music and vocational activities.

Work towards establishment of an office for mental health remains a priority for me. ACT Health has been exploring various models for the office and has commenced the consultation process with key stakeholders. The Mental Health Advisory Council was established and includes representatives with lived experience of mental health—a consumer and a carer—primary mental health, mental health research and practice, and mental health promotion, prevention, treatment and care.

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