Senate debates

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


National Mental Health Commission; Order for the Production of Documents

3:38 pm

Photo of Anne McEwenAnne McEwen (SA, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

At the request of Senator McLucas, I move:


(a) there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Health, no later than 9.30 am on Wednesday, 4 March 2015, copies of the following National Mental Health Commission documents in relation to its Mental Health review:

(i) the preliminary report which was completed during February 2014,

(ii) the interim report of the Mental Health Review which was completed in June 2014, and

(iii) the final report which was completed by the end of November 2014; and

(b) the Senate not accept a public interest immunity claim by the Minister that tabling these documents would impact the Government's ability to properly respond to the Mental Health Review because:

(i) organisations in the mental health sector are losing staff and being forced to cut services because of the lack of certainty the Government is causing by not releasing the reports,

(ii) the production of these documents is necessary to allow people living with mental illness, their representative organisations and service providers to have an open and honest conversation about the future of the mental health system in Australia,

(iii) the Mental Health Review must be transparent for the community to have faith in the review outcomes,

(iv) there has been significant demand from the mental health sector for the reports to be made available to allow for an informed debate in the lead up to Government decision making around the 2015 16 Budget, and

(v) the more than 1 800 organisations and individuals that made submissions to the review have the right to see these reports.

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (President) Share this | | Hansard source

The question is that the motion moved by Senator McEwen be agreed to.