Lismore Echo

A panel of mental health experts, led by NSW Chief Psychiatrist Dr Murray Wright, will begin a series of community consultations and hospital visits this week as part of the state-wide review of seclusion, restraint and observation practices.

Feedback from patients, staff, carers and family members who have had contact with acute mental health services is vitally important for this review.

If there are members of the community who cannot attend a consultation I encourage them to lodge a written submission.

Dr Wright and the panel will also meet with frontline staff and conduct site visits at NSW health facilities across the state.

The review will examine legislation, policy, clinical governance and practice standards to ensure they are consistent with international best practice, national standards, and the expectations of patients and the community.

Written submissions can be lodged by mail or online until September 24, 2017. For further information please visit: or email .

The Lismore consultation will take place on Tuesday 12 September.

Last week the report was released in relation to the independent review into the SES handling of the March flood. I thank Dave Owens for his detailed, comprehensive and frank report.

In the two days between 30-31 March the Richmond Tweed Region received between 600mm 700mm. This was an extraordinary deluge and it presented our community with enormous challenges.

During the floods there were 3,400 requests for assistance and 496 flood rescues recorded, and Im sure there were many more non-recorded rescues. The work they did during the floods and continue to do has not gone unnoticed. We owe them all an enormous debt of gratitude.

I want to again thank our local SES volunteers, as Im deeply concerned to hear that local SES volunteers have been criticised for their actions in the recovery. These are the same people who left their families, possessions, and homes, putting their own lives at risk, to help our community.

I have been personally briefed by Commissioner Smethurst and Mr Owens on this report. Im very pleased the NSW SES has swiftly responded to Mr Owens independent assessment and is accepting 35 of the 36 recommendations.

This was one of the most significant events to occur in the North Coast in forty years and we need to learn the lessons from our actions and work together to ensure we are better prepared and better educated for future natural disasters in our community.

I trust Council will work with the NSW SES to improve our preparedness, our procedures and our resilience.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.