TasCOSS welcomes the announcement of the new Ministerial Charter setting out the Government’s expectations of the Public Trustee. TasCOSS’s submission to the Independent Review of the Public Trustee, conducted by Damian Bugg AM QC, recommended the systemic change needed in that institution be underpinned by the following principles:
- Principle 1: The equal right to make decisions
All adults have an equal right to make decisions that affect their lives and to have those decisions respected.
- Principle 2: Support
Persons who require support in decision-making must be provided with access to the support necessary for them to make, communicate and participate in decisions that affect their lives.
- Principle 3: Will, preferences and rights
The will, preferences and rights of persons who may require decision-making support must direct decisions that affect their lives.
- Principle 4: Safeguards
Laws and legal frameworks must contain appropriate and effective safeguards in relation to interventions for persons who may require decision-making support, including to prevent abuse and undue influence.
TasCOSS is pleased to see these principles embedded in the new Ministerial Charter. However, we agree with Advocacy Tasmania that more needs to be done to ensure protection and compensation for Tasmanians who rely on the Public Trustee. We therefore endorse their call for “significant penalties to apply to breaches, a proper compensation scheme for victims and a commitment from government that they will remove the current legislated gag provisions that stop Tasmanians from speaking about their human rights abuses.”