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Question Time: Queensland's obstruction of UN anti-torture subcommittee inspections of mental health facilities

On Wednesday 27 October 2022, I asked the Premier how she'll repair Queensland's international reputation after refusing access for UN inspectors to mental health wards. 

You can read my question and the answer below, or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard)

Mr BERKMAN: My question is to the Premier. Last week the UN subcommittee on the prevention of torture specifically denounced the Queensland government for breaching its anti-torture obligations by obstructing access to Queensland’s mental health facilities for inspection. What will the Premier do to repair Queensland’s reputation on human rights and mental health care ahead of the UN’s antitorture committee meeting in Geneva next month?

Ms PALASZCZUK: I thank the member for Maiwar. I understand that there were some legislative barriers that restricted some access. I am advised that the subcommittee was informed that access to prisons, police watch houses and youth detention facilities in Queensland would be facilitated. However, there were some restrictions around physical access to authorised mental health facilities and the forensic disability service. Advice was also provided about how to support the subcommittee visit within the existing legislation.

In August this year our government passed legislation to establish an Independent Inspector of Detention Services which will provide greater oversight of Queensland’s detention facilities. An OPCAT bill will be introduced by the end of the year to address the current legislative barriers that restrict physical access.

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