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Bill to protect intellectually disabled

Bill to protect intellectually disabled to go before Parliament

The Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care) Bill being debated by Parliament this week will be a huge relief to families who have grown children with high and complex intellectual disabilities, says National Disability Spokesperson Sandra Goudie.

The Bill, started by former National MP Wyatt Creech and completed by the Health Select Committee, provides for the compulsory care of those with intellectual disabilities who, because of their lack of understanding, antisocial or violent behaviour, need compulsory care. It is expected to go before Parliament tomorrow.

"The reason for the Bill is that there was a gap left over the care of those with intellectual disabilities when the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment Treatment) Act replaced previous legislation in 1992," Mrs Goudie said.

"Those with intellectual disabilities were excluded from that legislation, leaving many of them at risk. I know of cases where mature adults with intellectual disabilities have been charged with crimes and gone to prison basically because they have had no one to care for them.

"Some have gone to prison for inappropriate behaviour when they are not criminals, they just needed the care and support of the community in a secure environment.

"It is long overdue that this Bill goes through. It will be a great relief to many parents of those with high and complex intellectual disabilities, some of whom are very concerned about their future care when they move on.

"The Bill will ensure there is funding, facilities and support for these people.

"The Bill going forward is a tribute to the hard work of Dr Lynda Scott who has pushed to get it through the select committee," Mrs Goudie said.

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