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Current research and advocacy activities

Adult safeguarding project

This major systemic reform based project was undertaken by the Public Advocate during 2021 and 2022. It involved a series of round-tables throughout Queensland, at which people from a range of backgrounds were invited to identify situations where adults with impaired decision-making ability are at risk in the community, how such concerns are currently addressed, and what improvements are needed.

Based on these consultations, the first report Adult Safeguarding in Queensland:Volume 1. Identifying the Gaps has now been released and is available here.

The culmination of the project involved the development of 17 key reform recommendations. Adult Safeguarding in Queensland, Volume 2: Reform recommendations has now been released and is available here.

Confidentiality provisions within the Queensland guardianship system

In August 2022 the Public Advocate released a report re-examining confidentiality in the guardianship system, looking at, in particular, the making of confidentiality orders by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Section 114A of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000, which prohibits the publication of the identity of a person who is subject to a guardianship proceeding unless certain other conditions apply.

Public Accountability, Private Lives: Reconsidering the Queensland guardianship system's confidentiality requirements is available here.

Review of the Queensland Acute Mental Health System

In August 2022, the Public Advocate completed a major review of Queensland's acute mental health system, in collaboration with consultant psychiatrist Professor Neeraj Gill. The report makes 21 carefully considered and feasible recommendations. The Public Advocate is looking forward to working with the various parties to whom these recommendations are addressed in seeing them realised.

Better Pathways: Improving Queensland's delivery of acute mental health services is available here.

Joint Issues Paper - Elder Abuse

In February 2022, the Public Advocate, in conjunction with the Queensland Law Society (QLS), released a joint issues paper describing the legal environment and issues associated with the violence, abuse and neglect of older persons. The paper was an update to the former joint publication, Elder Abuse: How well does the law cope in Queensland? which was released in June 2010.

The paper encompassed a broad scope of issues, including those related to; human rights; victims and perpetrators of elder abuse; civil and criminal law; law enforcement; domestic and family violence; the guardianship regime; system abuse in the aged care system; comparative legal approaches; and access to legal assistance for older persons.

You can read this paper here.

Restrictive practices reform

In October 2021 the Public Advocate released a restrictive practices reform options paper, which proposes the use of a senior practitioner authorisation model across all settings in Queensland.

You can read this paper here.

Preserving the financial futures of vulnerable Queenslanders: A review of Public Trustee fees, charges and practices

The systemic advocacy report, Preserving the financial futures of vulnerable Queenslanders: A review of Public Trustee fees, charges and practices, was tabled in Parliament on 10 March 2021.

For more information regarding this project please click here