Government Senators are pleased that the committee's report reflects a
general commitment to 1800 RESPECT to better support women, children and men
who require it. It is and should be the focus of government to continually
improve the service. This should be done regardless of who provides the service.
Government Senators are concerned about some recommendations,
particularly those in relation to the procurement process, which are not borne
out by the evidence provided. As such, government senators do not agree with
Government Senators are also concerned by the report's heavy reliance on
testimony by the ASU, which given its highly political campaign against the
change in service delivery model, is not an impartial source of information.
Government Senators disagree with statements made within recommendations
2 and 3, specifically 4.12, 4.15 and 4.18.
Government Senators do not believe that there is sufficient evidence
provided to the committee that indicates that the procurement process did not
Consistent with subcontracting arrangements, MHS was responsible for
conducting an open, transparent and competitive tender process and appointed O'Connor Marsden
and Associates as the external probity advisor to oversee both the EOI and
subsequent request for proposal process.
MHS also appointed an evaluation panel, which included two independent
subject matter experts with expertise in sexual assault, domestic and family
Government Senators acknowledge that there was discussion prior to the
procurement taking place, as evidenced by emails provided by the ASU, and these
have been comprehensively responded to by both DSS and MHS. The emails conflate
issues around the new subcontract with changes to the existing contract.
Qualifications of MHS counsellors
Government Senators believe that the evidence provided by MHS and DSS is
sufficient to indicate that appropriate training is provided to MHS first
response counsellors prior to their commencement including two years practical
Government Senators have concerns that evidence provided by Mrs Emily
Lachevre is included in the committee's report as it is unverifiable hearsay.
Government Senators note that there is a contractual requirement to
lodge complaints and a clear process for doing so.
No evidence has been provided to the committee that indicates a complaint was
Government Senators are pleased that the committee report reflects a
general commitment to the 1800 RESPECT service.
Government Senators are of the view that the procurement process was
appropriately and properly conducted.
Government Senators are of the view that MHS first responders are
appropriately qualified and that MHS has appropriate training in place.
Government Senators are encouraged that the committee has recognised
that there has been a significant improvement in the service which will benefit
the women, children and men who have been impacted by domestic and family
violence, and sexual assault.
Senator James Paterson
Navigation: Previous Page | Contents | Next Page