Mental Health (Inpatient) Amendment Bill

01 May 2012 archivespeech

This speech is to express support from the Liberal Party for the Mental Health (Inpatient) Amendment Bill. This bill involves important changes to the language used within the Mental Health Act 2009 as well as changes relating to the ECT due to impact it has on people under the age of 18.

Adjourned debate on second reading.

(Continued from 4 April 2012.)

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (17:45): I rise to indicate Liberal support for this bill, which is not an extensive bill. It has two major provisions, one being an important change to the language used within the Mental Health Act 2009 to change 'detention' to refer to inpatient treatment and dealing with the regulation of involuntary treatment within treatment centres and confinement issues. The second relates to ECT as it impacts people under the age of 18.

In 2009, the parliament did review quite extensively the Mental Health Act 1993 through a bill that was originally tabled in 2008. The review of the Mental Health Act was a very, very important piece of legislation, being many years coming. There were some very significant changes in that, and I am proud of the fact that the Liberal Party introduced some important changes to the original draft, most particularly the introduction of a community visitors scheme and some changes to treatment and care plans being required to be provided by the Guardianship Board, among other things. I will not go through all of that, because it did take us some time and it was very important. I note that a few years after that particular legislation was passed, the government has seen fit to change the way in which leave of absence and detention provisions operate and also the provisions in relation to consent for ECT on minors.

I do note that an amendment has been tabled by the Hon. Ann Bressington. The Liberal Party has not had an opportunity to consider that amendment at this stage. I think that the Hon. Rob Brokenshire also indicated on radio that he has amendments, but we are yet to see those. We would prefer not to proceed through the committee stage of this debate until we have had an opportunity to consider those amendments, but I indicate that we will be supporting the overall intent of this legislation.