See also ABC law report 15/8/06 “Guardianship and Administration Tribunal”
Update – while the suppression order seems to have prevented media coverage of our picket, the Courier Mail has been following the issues with other cases and published the following on Sept 1…… “Unwilling ward of the state”
Join the campaign to reform the Queensland Office of the Adult Guardian.
Please pass this link to friends and networks in Brisbane.
There will be a picket Wednesday, the 29 August 2007 at 9.00 am. outside the Brisbane Magistrate’s Court, 240 Roma St. Brisbane to demand reform of the Queensland Office of the Adult Guardian.
(note – this building is not the office of the Adult Guardian. We have chosen this venue because a client of the Adult Guardian is appearing before a magistrate there)
The picket will be opened by a traditional Aboriginal dance from Baganan Kurityityin Theresa Creed.
There will be an open forum during the picket chaired by Drew Hutton. All are welcome to speak.
An invitation from Theresa Creed and John Tracey
Please join us to demand reform of Queensland’s guardianship laws.
We do not want to deceive anyone. This picket is about a particular problem that is occurring in our family. We would love to tell you the details but have been threatened with imprisonment if we do.
For seven years we have struggled with the Adult Guardian. We have gone up and down the right channels over and over again – without justice for a member of our family.
So we have called this picket to publically demand one thing, a demand that is relevant to thousands of other Queensland families – Reform the Office of the Adult Guardian!.
We demand that the Office of the Adult Guardian’s dual functions of investigator and legal Guardian for people with intellectual disabilities be split into two separates agencies. This would require the Office of the Adult Guardian, as a guardian, to be as accountable to scrutiny as any other legal guardian. At present the Office of the Adult Guardian investigates itself, or more accurately, does not investigate itself - including responding to complaints from their clients, client’s families or anyone else.
At present Queensland’s Guardianship and Administration Act allows for no accountability or scrutiny from anyone. Even the Attorney General, the elected parliamentarian and member of the state executive whose department the Adult Guardian is a part of , is legislatively unable to demand information and reports from the Adult Guardian or initiate any official investigation of any sort.
On top of this lack of accountability, Section 129 of the Guardianship and administration Act extinguishes any obligation at all to protect the rights of the adult or the integrity of the decisions made or to test information provided to the tribunal by the Adult Guardian.
Section 129 allows the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal (whose only investigative wing is the Office of the Adult Guardian) to conduct hearings and make orders that suspend all principles and protocols contained in its own act for up to six months.
Section 129 is a wild card allowing the tribunal to make decisions totally outside of legal frameworks. This section removes even the requirement for the person with a disability to be present or represented at a hearing, even if the Tribunal Orders to remove a person’s right to make decisions about where they live and who they associate with. This situation has occurred, it is not a hypothetical fear.
Totalitarian laws and agencies such as Queensland’s guardianship regime should have no place in the lives of any Australian citizen.
These white laws have no place in Aboriginal family business
These laws, and the incompetence that flows from them are directly responsible for many people with intellectual disabilities being left to fall though the cracks in the system – often ending up in gaol.
In our family’s case as with other Aboriginal families, they are also a significant contributing factor to the over-representation of Aboriginal people in gaols.
Please contact the Queensland Attorney General to support reform to Queensland Guardianship Laws Attorney@ministerial.qld.gov.au
ABC law report 15/8/06 “Guardianship and Administration Tribunal”
Courier Mail 3/07/07 “Life support decision slammed”
For more information
Campaign to Reform the Adult Guardian (CRAG)
ph. Bris (07) 32552146
I will post updates on the situation in the comments section – stay tuned! – J.T.
(I have closed comments to anyone else)