Big changes to human rights in Canberra

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SIMON Corbell says a restructure of the Human Rights Commission and a new consolidated Public Trustee and office will improve rights protection services for vulnerable Canberrans.

“After comprehensive consultation the ACT Government has decided to introduce a new rights protection framework that will strengthen the leadership, governance, and coordination of the very important operations of these key rights protection services,” Simon said.

“No funding will be taken away from these important services, no staff jobs are at risk and the proposed changes are not about finding savings.

“This model will involve establishing the position of the President of the Human Rights Commission, and bringing the Victims of Crime Commissioner and the advocacy functions of the Public Advocate into the Human Rights Commission.

“The government looks forward to working with the statutory office holders and agency staff to implement the new framework to build the ability of these agencies to deliver their crucial functions more effectively and efficiently.

“Legislation to amend the Human Rights Commission Act 2005 will be introduced to the Legislative Assembly this year. It will introduce new mechanisms to support the improved governance, strategic planning and coordination of the commission’s many service oversight and advocacy functions.

“A consolidated Public Trustee and Guardian office will bring a wider range of experienced staff with expert personal guardianship and financial management skills together to act for Canberrans with impaired decision making capacity.

“The restructure will allow as much funding as possible to be directed to address the needs of the most vulnerable people in our community rather than to management and administration.”

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