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6 Comments

  1. 1

    Ben Mullings

    Readers of the above article may be interested in the following letter of request from the ‘Australian Mental Health Party’ who are aiming to be fully established as a political party by the end of the year: http://drben.com.au/d/FOI_03-12-14.pdf

    In short, we are asking for the report to be released under the Freedom of Information Act. Let’s see what happens next.

    Reply
  2. 2

    srosenberg

    Hi Ben, thanks for commenting. Interested in your Party – mental health certainly needs attention. Good luck.
    As an ex-public servant, I think I am right in saying that if the Review has been prepared as a cabinet-in-confidence document, it would be exempt from FOI. My understanding is that this may indeed be the case here.

    Reply
  3. 3

    Ben Mullings

    Yes, that’s my understanding too Sebastian. Still worth a try, particularly as it is not clear whether it was specifically prepared as a cabinet-in-confidence document or not. When the Government announced the review they certainly made a lot of noise about it. The National Mental Health Commission also put in a lot of hard work to generate public interest in the report and made a really good case that there is a strong public interest in mental health care policy reforms. I know we are not alone in thinking that it stands to reason then that the public are interested in seeing the report. One would hope that our Government can see that this report is ultimately for the public.

    Reply
  4. 4

    Scott

    Come on guys…they only refused to table the “interim” report. They have only just received the final report and it’s probably a good idea to have an internal look at it before it’s released.

    Bit of patience.

    Reply
  5. 5

    Ben Mullings

    @Scott Refusing to release the report makes no sense. The questions contained in the review were mundane. Contributors were asked about what is working well right now and what could be improved in our mental health system. The public is asking to see what the final report says about the status of -OUR- mental health care system. This should be no secret.

    We don’t want our Government to bury the findings until people forget about it over the Christmas break. We also don’t want all of the negotiations leading up to the federal Budget in May 2015 being made in private informed only by those closest to Government and kept in the loop. It’s hard to imagine how the Government refusing to release this report could possibly be a good thing for public policy in mental health care.

    Reply
  6. 6

    srosenberg

    Hi Scott. Appreciate your point. However, the focus of my piece was less about the Govt decision not to release the review, and more about the role of an independent community-focused mental health commission now operating in a manner different from its original intent. As I said, this is new territory for a commission and a challenge to this model of governance.

    Reply

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