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COMMUNITY AFFAIRS REFERENCES COMMITTEE—REFERENCE

Senator Fierravanti-Wells, also on behalf of Senator Siewert, amended business of the Senate notice of motion no. 1 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved—That the following matter be referred to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 16 August 2011:

The Government's funding and administration of mental health services in Australia, with particular reference to:

 (a) the Government's 2011-12 Budget changes relating to mental health;

 (b) changes to the Better Access Initiative, including:

  (i) the rationalisation of general practitioner (GP) mental health services,

  (ii) the rationalisation of allied health treatment sessions,

  (iii) the impact of changes to the Medicare rebates and the two-tiered rebate structure for clinical assessment and preparation of a care plan by GPs, and

  (iv) the impact of changes to the number of allied mental health treatment services for patients with mild or moderate mental illness under the Medicare Benefits Schedule;

 (c) the impact and adequacy of services provided to people with mental illness through the Access to Allied Psychological Services program;

 (d) services available for people with severe mental illness and the coordination of those services;

 (e) mental health workforce issues, including:

  (i) the two-tiered Medicare rebate system for psychologists,

  (ii) workforce qualifications and training of psychologists, and

  (iii) workforce shortages;

 (f) the adequacy of mental health funding and services for disadvantaged groups, including:

  (i) culturally and linguistically diverse communities,

  (ii) Indigenous communities, and

  (iii) people with disabilities;

 (g) the delivery of a national mental health commission; and

 (h) the impact of online services for people with a mental illness, with particular regard to those living in rural and remote locations and other hard-to-reach groups; and

 (j) any other related matter.

Question put and passed.