New Mental Health Bill Introduced to Tasmania Parliament
Thursday 1 November 2018 @ 3.26 p.m. | Legal Research
The Mental Health Amendment Bill 2018 (the “Bill”) was introduced to Tasmania’s House of Assembly on 27 September 2018, by the Hon Elise Archer (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Corrections, Environment, and the Arts). The object of the Bill will to be amend the Mental Health Act 2013 (Tas) (the “Act”) to remove the requirement for the Mental Health Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) to conduct a mandatory review of a treatment order where a patient has complied with the treatment order and the decision to admit the patient is a clinical one to prevent possible harm.
The Bill is currently before the House of Assembly where it is awaiting further comment and discussion.
Current Provisions of the Act
The Act provides for the Tribunal to sit in divisions of one Member, or three or more Members, chosen by the President. Section 181(1)(f) of the Act presently requires that any review of a treatment order must be conducted by a division of three members. Within its existing resources, the Tribunal can effectively conduct a one-member review, but convening a three-member panel has the potential to incur extra costs.
In her Second Reading Speech, the Minister said:
It is hoped that the proposed amendments to the Act will address these issues.
The Proposed Amendments
The Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill outlines the purpose of the Act:
The proposed amendment will amend s 181(1) of the Act to:
The amendment will provide the President of the Tribunal with the flexibility to appoint (where appropriate), a division of one Tribunal member to review treatment orders for s 47A admissions, this will assist to reduce costs where matters are likely to be straightforward, as the Tribunal can conduct a one-member review within existing resources.
Improvements to Mental Health Resources
Speaking to, Michael Ferguson (Minister for Health) said the Government was investing $95 million to "build a better mental health system". Mr Ferguson was quoted as saying:
In aof 16 October 2018, the Minister referred to improvements made to mental health resources:
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Mental Health Amendment Bill 2018 (Tas) - Bill and supporting information available from TimeBase LawOne Service