The long-awaited release of the final report of the Royal Commission into Mental Health has been delayed at the eleventh hour as the Andrews Labor Government scrambles to clean up its latest failure to properly manage hotel quarantine.
The final report was due to be tabled in State Parliament today, but vulnerable Victorians will wait longer because Daniel Andrews is distracted bouncing from crisis to crisis.
It’s bitterly disappointing for the thousands of Victorians who have shared their stories and provided evidence in an effort to lead the change that is so desperately needed.
We can’t afford to wait until the end of this pandemic to fix Victoria’s mental health system, but Labor’s pushed it to the back of the queue because Daniel Andrews doesn’t want to miss out on another day of media headlines.
We’ve long known Victoria’s mental health system is broken, with people at crisis point told they will have to wait months for support.
Dozens of reports have recommended immediate change.
But Daniel Andrews has refused to act, even after the Royal Commission’s November 2019 interim report found “Victoria’s mental health system is not just compromised – it is afflicted by systemic failings” (p14).
We must urgently move to better support vulnerable people in our community to get the help they need, when they need it.
But instead Daniel Andrews and Labor are only delivering more delays, more excuses and more neglect of Victorians who can’t get the crucial support they need.
A 2019 Victorian Auditor-General report was scathing of the DHHS bureaucracy and the continued refusal to implement recommendations arising from multiple internal and external investigations into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
“the Royal Commission into Mental Health will undoubtedly highlight many areas for improvement across the system. However, the need for planning and investment to meet demand is already known and as such work to address this should not await the Commission’s recommendations. Further delay will only amplify the problems the Commission seeks to address”.