Discussion Papers & Submissions

Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

May 2015

This Bill, if passed, would remove access to social security benefits for forensic patients found by a Court to be not guilty by reason of mental impairment or unfit to plead, if they have been charged with a serious offence.

In our submission we explain why this measure would be discriminatory, and is not consistent with the legal finding of not guilty by reason of mental impairment.

To read this submission click here.


Proposal for a National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguarding Framework

April 2015

The Commonwealth Department of Social Services sought submissions on a proposed Quality and Safeguarding Framework for the NDIS.

The Commonwealth discussion paper can be read here.

The OPA submission can be read on this link.

In addition the Australian Guardianship and Administration Council (AGAC), of which the South Australian OPA is a member, made a comprehesive submission which can be read on this external link to the AGAC website.


Inquiry into Co-morbidity

October 2014

The South Australian Parliament's Social Development Committee, is conducting an inquiry into co-morbidity which may refer to a dual diagnosis of an intellectual disability and/or an acquired brain injury and a mental illness or chronic substance abuse.  The terms of reference for the inquiry can be read on this link

The Office of the Public Advocate made a submission to the inquiry which has recently been published by the committee on its website.  To read the OPA submission click here.  (external link SA Parliament website).

For a link to the Social Development Committee's webpage click here.


Mental Health Act Review

September 2014

The Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, in SA Health, has completed a review of the Mental Health Act 2009.

Public consultation closed on Friday 5 September 2014. To read the review report click here. (External link to SA Parliament website).

The review puts forward the consideration of decision making incapacity in our Mental Health Act. This proposal strongly supported by this Office. It should better protect rights of people with mental illness and in doing so improve care.

To read the Office of the Public Advocate response to the questions raised in the review report click here.


Australian Law Reform Commission: Legal Barriers for People with Disability (Discussion Paper Response)

June 2014

To read a joint submission by the  South Australian OPA and the Victorian OPA click here.

For a link to the inquiry page, which includes the ALRC April 2014 discussion paper click here (external link).


Australian Law Reform Commission: Legal Barriers for People with Disability (Issues Paper Response)

January 2014

To read the South Australian OPA submission click here.

A minor change to page 17 of this submission was made in April 2014, please see the document for details.)

For a link to the inquiry page, which includes the ALRC issue paper click here (external link).


Mental Health Act Review

November 2013

The OPA has suggested that mental capacity criteria be added to the existing Mental Health Act 2009.

To read our submission Click Here


Response to the Sentencing Advisory Council Discussion Paper considering the operation of Part 8A of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA)

November 2013

The OPA supported a proposition to change the oversight arrangements for the care and supervision of forensic patients.

The Office did not see the need to make changes to the criteria relating to a mental impairment defence.

To read the OPA's response Click Here.


Submission on Nominee Arrangements for the National Disability Insurance Scheme

March 2013

The Office submitted that rather than having one Plan nominee appointment with broad responsibilities, including for finances, that the goal setting and planning role be separated from the financial role to enable more limited appointments, and that it be specified whether the appointment is for the purpose of supported or subsitute decision making.

Read more


Inquiry into Disability Care and Support

August 2010

The South Australian Office of the Public Advocate has made a submission to the Productivity Commissions inquiry into a long-term disability care and support scheme. The submission considers the link between Article 12 of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which requires access to decision support, and future models of self managed funding and disability insurance.

To read this submission Click Here


Dual Diagnosis in Country South Australia

May 2010

In 2009 a discussion paper was prepared from this office on the assessment and treatment of people who have both a mental illness and drug and alcohol disorder in South Australia.

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Independent Gambling Authority Inquiry into Barring Arrangements

February 2009

In February 2009 the Public Advocate presented to this inquiry. The submission focussed on the need to provide a range of interventions to tackle pathological gambling that includes education, early intervention and treatment as well as barring. Recognition of other co-existent illness such as major depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders is necessary. A statewide barring system is suggested that can be linked with voluntary pre-commitment so that gamblers can set a maximum amount that they are prepared to lose before entering a venue.

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Presentation to the Statutory Authorities Review Committee

Inquiry into the Office of the Public Trustee

In December 2009 the Statutory Authorities Review Committee of the Legislative Council tabled its findings and recommendation in its review of the South Australian Public Trustee. The Office of the Public Advocate made both a verbal and written submission to this committee.

In addition, our office prepared a background paper on the topic of trusteeship. This paper examined factors that will increase community need for administration services, contemporary overseas practices that might inform developments in South Australia, the benefits of personal visiting, and the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This background paper can be downloaded on the link below.

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Glenside Hospital Redevelopment

December 2008

In December 2008 this office made a submission to the Upper House Committee considering the Glenside Redevelopment. A discussion document summarises strategies suggested by this office for consideration.

To read more about our Submission Click Here