Resumed from 31 October. The Chair of Committees (Hon Simon O’Brien) in the chair; Hon Stephen Dawson (Minister for Environment) in charge of the bill.

 Comments and speeches from various members

Hon NICK GOIRAN: I move —

Page 3, line 4 — To insert after “practitioner” — or social worker

Comments from Hon NICK GOIRAN

Hon ALISON XAMON: I rise to raise a potential issue with the drafting of the amendment in front of us. Because it would read “health practitioner or social worker”, I would hate that to be read as an exclusionary measure. My concern is that multiple relationships may need to be maintained, and as a form of drafting I am concerned that the use of the word “or” might limit the provisions in a way that is not necessarily intended.

Comments and speeches from various members

Hon ALISON XAMON: I indicate that I have sympathy for what the mover of the amendment is trying to achieve, which is to ensure that ongoing therapeutic relationships are maintained. That is an important principle, and one that needs to be encapsulated. I recognise that very often social workers in certain settings provide therapeutic relationships, although not always; there is a wide range of social work settings, but certainly in the settings that I think are envisaged around this bill, that can be the case. I am also seeking the comfort from government that “health practitioner” will be broad enough to be able to incorporate “social worker”. I understand that for the purposes of the second reading debate, perhaps it could be argued that it is sufficient to put on the record that that is the intent of this bill. That would need to be made unequivocally clear. I think it is important to note that the intent of the amendment is sound. The issue is just whether this chamber believes that it is necessary.

Comments and speeches from various members

Amendment, as altered, put and negatived.

Comments and speeches from various members

Committee interrupted, pursuant to standing orders.


Parliamentary Type: