Human Rights Commission and the Public Trustee re-organised

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SIMON Corbell says a restructure of the ACT Human Rights Commission and creation of an Office of Public Trustee and Guardian will ensure the community receives greater support from better connected services.

“The Protection of Rights (Services) Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 was passed today in the Legislative Assembly following a review of statutory oversight bodies,” Simon said.

“It’s important that the ACT have the best possible rights protection arrangements as demand for increases in service.

“The changes will improve the framework for protection of all Canberrans’ human rights through streamlined governance arrangements and better coordination of processes for handling complaints, conducting investigations into systemic matters affecting rights and raising awareness of rights.

“The Bill creates the position of President of the Commission and brings the Public Advocate and Victims of Crime Commissioner into the Commission.

“The Public Guardian functions will be merged into the Public Trustee, to deliver joined up management services for vulnerable Canberrans and a more holistic perspective to inform decisions about how best to protect a vulnerable person’s wishes and their best interests.

“The restructure will allow as much funding as possible to be directed to front-line service delivery to support most vulnerable people in our community rather than towards the management and administration of the rights protection offices.

“This Bill represents an opportunity for renewal and reinvigoration of these important rights protection services. Consolidating the offices will future proof these agencies to deal with increased demand but will also open up new ways of serving the Canberra community.”

The government is working with staff of the affected agencies as well as union representatives to provide support through the change process to make sure that the agencies transition to the new legislative and operational structure from 1 April this year.

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