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Victorian Guardianship Reforms now law

Blind man is led by his guide dog, crossing the road in Melbourne.
Photo: Shutterstock

New legislation will commence from today to better protect the rights of adults with a disabilities to make and participate in decisions that affect their lives.

The Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 presumes that a person has decision-making capacity unless evidence is provided to the contrary. It also recognises that a person has decision-making capacity if they can make decisions with support.

Representing the biggest change to the state’s guardianship and administration laws in more than 30 years, the legislation reflects a more modern understanding of decision-making capacity and disability.

A supportive guardian or administrator will now be able to be appointed to help a person to make their own lifestyle, financial and legal decisions.

New offences will apply for guardians or administrators who dishonestly use their appointment for financial gain or cause loss to the represented person, with anyone found guilty facing up to five years in prison.

Individuals can also seek compensation for a loss caused by a guardian or administrator who breaches their duties.

“This new law promotes the dignity, equality and autonomy of people living with disability, while retaining the safeguards necessary for them to most fully realise their potential.”

“Every Victorian has the right to enjoy their human rights without discrimination and these changes will give Victorians living with a disability greater choice in their homes, lives and communities” said Attorney-General Jill Hennessy.

 

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