Key messages

  • The civil agreement covers cross-border treatment and the transfer and return of compulsory inpatients.
  • The forensic agreement provides for the apprehension and return of forensic or security patients who cross the border while absent without leave.

Mental health arrangements with New South Wales (NSW) are governed by two ministerial agreements.The agreements set out the legal framework for the provision of mental health services between the two states.

Civil agreement

The civil agreement covers:

  • people seeking mental health treatment over the Victoria–NSW border
  • transfer of compulsory inpatients between Victoria and NSW
  • compulsory mental health treatment for people subject to community orders
  • apprehension and return of compulsory inpatients who are absent without leave in either NSW or Victoria.

The civil agreement does not apply to forensic or security patients.

The civil agreement refers to the provisions of the repealed Mental Health Act 1986 (Vic), but the Mental Health Act 2014 (Vic) deems the civil agreement to be made under the 2014 Act.

The civil agreement will be revised in future to refer to the Mental Health Act 2014 and the current NSW legislation.

Forensic agreement

The forensic agreement refers to the provisions of the repealed Mental Health Act 1986 (Vic) and the Mental Health Act 1990 (NSW).

Transition provisions in both the Mental Health Act 2014 (Vic) and the Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW) preserve the currency of the forensic agreement.

The forensic agreement will be revised in future to update the legislative references.

The forensic agreement provides for the apprehension and return of forensic, security and certain other patients who are absent without leave in either NSW or Victoria.