Falling firmly into the “dull but worthy” category the Greens’ Amanda Bresnan has announced the release of draft legislation to reform the ACT’s Official Visitors who check in on care facilities and prisons.
“The Greens Bill proposes a number of improvements to the way Official Visitors operate, many of which have been promised by Governments over the last decade but never implemented.
“The changes seek to provide Official Visitors with greater empowerment to more strongly represent vulnerable people living in or being held in care. This will be achieved by having Official Visitors sit within the Office of the Public Advocate, and removing the direct funding relationship Official Visitors currently have with the Directorates.
“The changes also seek to broaden the scope of Official Visitors to enable them to visit places where people aren’t necessarily being held against their will, but have little choice to be elsewhere. Examples being people with disabilities in group homes, or people staying in accommodation run by a non-government provider.
“While we no longer have institutions, there are many vulnerable people being held or living in situations over which they have little choice or control. The Greens want to strengthen the ACT’s Official Visitors to give vulnerable people a voice,” Ms Bresnan said.