Fascism and disability in Queensland - The Guardianship and Administration Act
by John Tracey
In Queensland, any one of us can have our rights of freedom of movement and association taken off us for a period of 6 months at a tribunal hearing where we or our representative are not present. There is no capacity to appeal or object to this and not even the Attorney General can demand information about this process.
If we want to complain about this, the only people to complain to, by legislation, are the very people who have done it.
The totalitarian institutions that have this power are the Office of the Adult Guardian and the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal.
Most Queenslanders are unaware of this situation as I was until it happened to a member of my family. I would love to tell you the details but I have been threatened by the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal with imprisonment if I do.
The Queensland Law Reform Commission is currently examining the Guardianship and Administration Act, the legislation that makes such totalitarianism possible, but they are not expected to hand any recommendations to the Attorney General for at least three years.
So for at least three years, this Fascist law will hang over all our heads, not just people with disabilities. If a disgruntled family member gives details of your life to the Adult Guardian, you could well be stripped of the right to make basic decisions about your life such as where you live and who you associate with for six months, while you have to try and prove you are competent to make your own decisions.
There is a serious flaw in the Qld. Guardianship and Administration Act in that the Office of the Adult Guardian has the three simultaneous roles of …..
1/a guardian, the legal authority over thousands of Queensland adults including over 250 homeless people with intellectual disabilities
2/ the only investigative agency of the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal and
3/The front agency for receiving complaints of abuse or neglect of people with disabilities.
Therefore, any complaint against the Adult Guardian of abuse or neglect in discharging its responsibilities to thousands of Queenslanders will be first reported to the Adult Guardian, it will then be investigated by the Adult Guardian who will then exclusively inform the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal of its findings.
The Adult guardian is insulated by legislation from any investigation from anywhere else including from the Queensland Attorney General.
The Queensland guardianship system is just as totalitarian as Guantanamo Bay’s military commissions that detained David Hicks without trial, but they are less accountable than even these commissions.