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Estimates: National Mental Health Commission Review

Estimates & Committees
Penny Wright 22 Oct 2014

NMHC Review

Senator WRIGHT: Thank you. I will wait. Let me know if there is someone else I could ask today. I come to the National Mental Health Commission review. Will the government respond to the National Mental Health Commission review?

Mr Booth: As you know, Senator, the review is due to report at the end of November. I would imagine that the report will be presented to government. I cannot say exactly what the response would be, but I would expect that there would be some response.

Senator WRIGHT: Would the response be by the department or the minister?

Mr Booth: It is a report to government, so the government would respond. The department will certainly do the work the department does in terms of analysis and advice—

Senator WRIGHT: By government you mean the executive government?

Mr Booth: It is a report to government. 

Senator WRIGHT: So you would imagine that it would be the executive government that would respond?

Mr Booth: I would need to double-check, but it is a report to government.

Senator WRIGHT: So we really do not know whether there will be a response or when that response might be and what the expected time frame for that might be?

Mr Booth: We do not have time frames yet.

Senator WRIGHT: Mr Butt, do you have any indication?

Mr Butt: No, I know nothing further other than the fact that we need to deliver the report to government by 30 November and that it is a report to government. It is then up to the government as to what it does with it.

Senator WRIGHT: Certainly the sector has indicated concerns. It seems that a lot of things have been put on hold pending the review. People are concerned that there is a risk that this might—with respect, Mr Butt, and with regard to all the work you are putting into it—end up being just another report that sits on the shelf gathering dust. Is there any way that we know that is not going to be the case? Is there any guarantee that we can have that there will be a response and that there will be a meaningful response to the review?

Senator Nash: The government will consider it in the way we consider reports in the usual process. There has been a very clear intent from government that this is a very important review and it was commissioned for a range of reasons that were very important. I can certainly indicate to you the level of importance of the review.

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