In December 2009 work began to review the Tasmanian Disability Services Act 1992.
As a consequence of the review and through a process of consultation with the disability sector and other key stakeholders, the Disability Services Bill 2011 was developed and passed by both Houses of the Tasmanian Parliament in September 2011.
The main feature of the new legislation is that it includes a broader human rights perspective in line with Australia's ratification of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
It also provides:
- a revised definition of disability which places a greater emphasis on the impact of the disability and includes recognition of disability resulting from cognitive impairment
- a mandate for the development and monitoring of standards (including compliance requirements and sanctions for non-compliance)
- more specific details of the roles and responsibilities of government and funded organisations in terms of better planning, reporting, information sharing and quality and safety requirements
- the introduction of approval processes and safeguards to monitor the use of restrictive interventions
- the capacity to provide more flexible funding arrangements including direct funding to private persons.
- The capacity to appoint a Senior Practitioner to perform, among other duties, the functions performed by the Ethics Committee in the previous legislation, in regard to the authorisation and monitoring of restrictive practices.
The Disability Services Act 2011 (Tas) was officially proclaimed on 1 January 2012. This document can be found under Features.
Disability and Community Services has developed a project plan for the implementation of the new Act which includes a consultation strategy.
- Consultation with the community sector will begin in late February 2012.
- Fact Sheets are being developed to support the implementation of the Act and will be made available in the Features section.