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Save our Advocate - restore the Office of the Public Advocate

Eligibility - Queensland citizens

Principal Petitioner:

Loretta Woolston
14 Maher Street
CABOOLTURE QLD 4510

Total Signatures - 298

Sponsoring Member: Peter Wellington MP

Posting Date: 30/09/2011

Closing Date: 30/03/2012

Tabled Date: 17/05/2012

Responded By: Hon Jarrod Bleijie MP on 14/06/2012

TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

Queensland citizens draws to the attention of the House the Public Advocate does not fit the audit brief of the Webbe-Weller Report of government boards, committees and statutory authorities.  The report added a proviso this should only occur "pending analysis of a different finding" by the QLRC review.  QLRC prosecuted its terms of reference in October 2009 stating: "the statutory Office of the Public Advocate should not be abolished (and) the function of systemic advocacy should not be transferred to the (OAG)"; "the transfer of the function of systemic advocacy from the Public Advocate to the Adult Guardian would create a potential conflict of interest for the Adult Guardian". "Even the perception of such a conflict must inevitably erode public confidence in the Adult Guardian's capacity to perform the function of systemic advocacy". A more useful outcome would be to identify what additional powers the office needed to enhance its effectiveness. A separate office of the Public Advocate was "the most effective means of undertaking systemic advocacy". QLRC concluded "the commission therefore considers the transferring of the Public Advocate's functions to the Adult Guardian would be a retrograde step". The government in November 2009, amended the QLRC's inquiry reference terms, preventing it from proceeding with its review of the Public Advocate's powers.

 

Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to restore the Office of the Public Advocate to its original status and identify what additional powers the office needs to enhance its effectiveness.