A patient in a seclusion room. Photo: Eamon GallagherThe solitary confinement of mentally ill people is declining in Australia, a new report shows, but advocates say greater efforts are needed to eliminate the outdated technique.
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Data to be released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on Wednesday show a patient was confined by themselves in about one in 20 occasions in which people were admitted to public hospitals for mental health-related care in 2013-14. The average duration of a seclusion event was six hours.

Nationally, rates of seclusion have declined by an average of 12 per cent per year since 2008-09, when seclusion data was first collected.

Former NSW chief psychiatrist John Allan, who is now Queensland’s chief psychiatrist and the chairman of the Safety and Quality Partnership Standing Committee, said while the decline was “pleasing”, he would like to see the reduction in seclusion accelerated.

He said seclusion was “not really a treatment, but just a way of controlling behaviour”  that could be “quite harmful to the patient”, leaving them feeling “lost and helpless”.

“It isn’t really therapeutic – it might change the person’s behaviour but it doesn’t make them feel better about themselves,” Associate Professor Allan said.

He said it was important to prevent people from becoming so unwell that seclusion was considered necessary.

Reducing or eliminating the use of seclusion has been a priority of Commonwealth, state and territory health ministers for almost a decade.

Despite this, the National Mental Health Commission says the issue is regularly raised with it by individuals and their families as well as service providers and policymakers.

In its national report card on mental health last year, the commission said seclusion was “not therapeutic and not in line with human rights”, and it expressed disappointment that the nation was so far from its target of ending the practice.

The commission plans to issue a position paper on seclusion early next year.

While it is sometimes considered necessary to protect patients and staff, seclusion can also cause distress and trauma.

The NSW Ministry of Health says seclusion, which involves locking patients in a room alone, should be used only as a last resort.

In Victoria, the Office of the Public Advocate had called on the state government to eliminate the use of seclusion in its mental health facilities.

Nationally, there were eight seclusion events in mental health facilities per 1000 bed days in 2013-14, down from 15.5 per 1000 bed days in 2008-09..

Children and adolescents had the highest rate of seclusion, at 9.6 seclusion events per 1000 bed days, with an average duration of 1.3 hours. Older people had the lowest rate – 0.5 seclusion events per 1000 bed days and an average seclusion duration of 3.5 hours.

Forensic services confined patients at a rate of 5.3 seclusion events per 1000 bed days. The average duration of a seclusion event in a forensic service was 64.7 hours.

In NSW, across all public mental health facilities, there were 7.4 seclusion events per 1000 bed days, and the average duration of seclusion was 6 hours. Seclusion occurred in 5.3 per cent of occasions in which a person was admitted to hospital for mental health-related care. Of those occasions that included a seclusion event, the average number of seclusion events was 1.8.

In Victoria, across all public mental health services, there were 9.2 seclusion events per 1000 bed days. The average duration of a seclusion event was 9.5 hours – the highest average duration of any Australian jurisdiction. A patient was confined in 6 per cent of occasions in which a person was admitted to hospital for mental health-related care in the state. Of those episodes that included a seclusion event, the average number of seclusion events was 2.3.

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A luxury $650 million development featuring a five-star hotel has been given approval in Brisbane’s inner-north.
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Australian private property trust Wentworth Equities was given the go-ahead for the four-tower project, by Economic Development Queensland.

The company said the development, known as ICON, would sit on a 7637-square-metre site and become the centrepiece of Northshore Hamilton.

The design was selected after a national competition.

The winning concept, by Australasian design firm Custance, features four distinctive towers and a connective sky-bridge.

The buildings will have 567 residential apartments, an international standard five-star 227-room hotel, a retail and restaurant precinct, an open air public realm and community civic plaza, known as Hamilton Place.

Wentworth Equities executive chairman Sameh Ibrahim said the time was right for significant investment in Brisbane, as it was now growing into a recognisable new world city.

“Brisbane’s diverse economy, growing population base, great employment opportunities, excellent relative housing affordability and availability, climate and natural attributes really make it the place to be,” Mr Ibrahim said.

“The recent G20 Leaders’ Summit further enhanced Brisbane’s international profile and we see only good things for the city’s future. Leveraging this global spotlight, ICON will set a new architectural, lifestyle and economic benchmark for Brisbane, supporting its ongoing transformation into a sophisticated, world-class city.

“As part of Northshore Hamilton, the gateway to Brisbane CBD, ICON will be the jewel in the crown of Australia’s largest waterfront urban renewal project and Brisbane’s premier riverfront precinct, representing a unique lifestyle opportunity for astute buyers looking for style and sophistication.”

The development will be located seven kilometres from the Brisbane airport and also close to the Brisbane cruise ship terminal.

Custance design director Craig Shelsher said ICON’s design was based on four key principles: water, people, place and connectivity.

“Designed to create a visual link to the water, ICON will connect the Brisbane River to Hercules Street Park and onwards to Kingsford Smith Drive, enhancing accessibility to neighbouring developments and throughout the Hamilton northshore precinct,” he said.

“All residences, from studio and one-bedroom apartments, through to three-bedroom luxury villas, will provide views of the river, park or Hamilton Place, which will feature boutique shopping, alfresco dining, a lawn area, subtropical planting and water features.”

Tower one will be 34 storeys and include the 227 five-star hotel rooms. Tower two will be 31 storeys, tower three 11 storeys, and tower four, 18 storeys.

For more information go to http://www.wentworthequities上海龙凤419m.au/portfolio/icon/

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CRS Property has sold 33 Church Street at auction for $5.37 million. A 945-square-metre site opposite Epworth Hospital has sold at auction for $5,200,000.
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CRS Property has sold 33 Church Street at auction for $5.37 million.

A 945-square-metre site opposite Epworth Hospital has sold at auction for $5,200,000.

CRS Property has sold 33 Church Street at auction for $5.37 million.

A 945-square-metre site opposite Epworth Hospital has sold at auction for $5,200,000.

CRS Property has sold 33 Church Street at auction for $5.37 million.

A 945-square-metre site opposite Epworth Hospital has sold at auction for $5,200,000.

SALES

RICHMOND

A 945-square-metre site opposite Epworth Hospital has sold at auction for $5,200,000. Fowler & Co stationery group put 80-82 Bridge Road on the market with vacant possession through Andrew Morley, from Morley Commercial, and it was sold to publicly-listed Primary Health Care.

GLEN WAVERLEY

Ray White Commercial secured the highest commercial sale in Glen Waverley’s “activity centre” this year with the auction of 54 Montclair Avenue for $5.105 million. More than 100 people attended the auction, with 11 registered bidders starting at $2 million and moving in $100,000 increments, commercial manager Ryan Trickey said.

SURREY HILLS

Two adjoining properties at 463-467 Canterbury Road, covered by three titles, with a combined area of 1091 square metres, have sold for $1.83 million. CVA Property Consultants’ Ian Angelico co-ordinated the owners of the two lots to arrange a sale to arboricultural service The Tree Company. The site, on a prominent corner of Canterbury and Robinsons roads, has development potential.

BRIGHTON

CRS Property has sold 33 Church Street at auction for $5.37 million, for a yield of 3.5 per cent. “The sale reflected the strategic nature of the property, for a retailer requiring in excess of 230 square metres to get into this lucrative Church Street market in the next 2-3 years,” Ian Robertson said.

ORMOND

Gross Waddell has sold three office suites for a total of $2.64 million over one week in a series of transactions managed by Benjamin Klein, Jamie Stuart and Alex Ham. A vacant office suite of 300 square metres at Unit 1, 596 North Road, Ormond, went for $830,000; three office suites at 22 Horne Street, Elsternwick, sold in one line on a return of 7 per cent; and an office suite of 252 square metres at 5-7 Compark Circuit, Mulgrave, sold with a lease in place on a return of 8.9 per cent. All three properties were bought by Melbourne-based private investors.

GLEN WAVERLEY

A 161-square-metre shop at 100 Kingsway sold at auction on a 90-day settlement for $3.3 million. The property, in a sought-after retail strip, achieved a yield of 2.23 per cent, Cameron Industrial Commercial’s David Johnson said. In another deal, a 323,700-square-metre block of land at 1005 Frankston Dandenong Road, in Carrum Downs, sold for $4.435 million.

CARLTON

Colliers International’s Ben Baines and Jeremy Gruzewski have sold a small Carlton office development site for $1.25 million, 40 per cent above the vendor’s reserve. The office at 113 Cardigan Street was sold with vacant possession by receiver PWC to a private investor.

LEASES

CBD

287 Collins Street has secured three new tenants after a refurbishment by new owner BGH Group. Kingfisher Recruitment took 392 square metres for five years, Marks and Clerk Lawyers moved into 392 square metres for six years and Fenton Communications has 392 square metres on a 10-year lease in deals negotiated by JLL’s Will McLaughlin and Simon Dick, along with CBRE’s Mark Bolis, Scott McGlone and Milly Stockdale.

PORT MELBOURNE

A 546-square-metre office/warehouse/showroom at 8 Rogers Street has been leased to a marketing company for $80,000 a year net, plus outgoings and GST, by Kliger Wood’s Andrew Thorburn. Mr Thorburn has also leased another factory/office, at 1/37-39 Lexton Road in Box Hill, to the Melbourne Cheer Academy on a five by five-year lease and $90,000 annual net return, plus outgoings and GST.

CBD

Windsor Smith Shoes has walked into a prime shop with a basement in Bourke Street Mall. The shop, vacated by Petra Hair Care, will be refitted on a rent of about $9000 a square metre, said Allard Shelton director Patrick Barnes. Colliers International’s Mike Crittenden and Ben Tremellen were joint agents.

MULGRAVE

Gross Waddell’s Jamie Stuart and Benjamin Klein sold a ground-level strata office suite at 1b/5-7 Compark Circuit to a private investor for $870,000 on a solid 8.8 per cent yield circa. The office had a passing rental of $77,000 a year (net) and was leased to international software company Ascribe on a 3 x 3 x 3 year lease.

DANDENONG SOUTH

Minus 1 Refrigerated Transport has snapped up a surplus hardstand area on a neighbouring Brickworks yard at 53-59 Elliott Road for $80,000 a year on a five by five-year lease in a deal negotiated by Colliers International’s Luke Jesson, Gordon Code and Justin Fried.

PORT MELBOURNE

Mining manufacturer Fenner Dunlop has taken a three-year lease in GPT Group’s Citiport Business Park at 294 Salmon Street. Colliers International’s Vincent Tran declined to comment, but office rents typically fetch about $250-$350 a square metre in the area.

MOVERS

Renowned petro-chemical valuation expert Ronald Newton, owner and founder of Ronald A Newton and Associates, has merged his valuation practice with Opteon Victoria and will head up its newly formed Petroleum division.

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Supermarket chain Coles has no plans to ease up on discounting after admitting its treatment of more than a dozen grocery suppliers was “unacceptable”.
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Coles has put paid to suggestions its offer to settle two major unconscionable-conduct cases brought by the ­Australian Competition and Consumer Commission could bring an end to the grocery price war.

Industry players said Coles’ ­admissions of unconscionable conduct and its offer to refund suppliers who were forced to pay extra rebates to fund a supply chain program could curtail its ability to extract further price ­reductions from suppliers.

However, Coles said its strategy was to continue to reduce prices for ­customers by funding reductions from cost savings, productivity gains and long-term supply agreements.

“We won’t step away from that ­commitment,” a spokesman said on Tuesday as the retailer waited to learn whether Federal Court judge Justice Michelle Gordon would consent to the terms of the proposed settlement.

“That’s our stated target, there are no bones about it – our strategy is to continue lowering prices and improving relationships with suppliers,” he said.

Industry sources have also ­suggested that suppliers beyond the 200 smaller companies involved in the Active Retail Collaboration (ARC) program could take advantage of Coles’ admissions to seek recompense for past wrongs.

As part of undertakings made to the ACCC, the retailer has established a ­formal process that will enable small suppliers to seek recourse if they believe they have not received benefits from the ARC commensurate with the costs.

The process will be led by former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett, who will appoint an independent audit firm to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for each of the 200 small participants. It will be up to each supplier to decide whether to seek reimbursement.

Separate to these undertakings, Coles has established a supplier charter and put in place measures whereby aggrieved suppliers can request an independent review of their dealings with the group. The dispute resolution process, which is also overseen by Mr Kennett, may enable more suppliers to seek refunds.

The Coles/ACCC settlement has ­further convinced analysts that a ­$1 billion profit transfer from grocery suppliers to the major supermarket chains may be coming to an end.

According to Morgan Stanley, supplier profits have fallen from $6.1 billion to $3.7 billion over the past few years, while Coles’ and Woolworths’ profits have risen from $3.1 billion to $4.4 billion. “The profit shift from suppliers to the major supermarkets – Coles and Woolworths – has been a considerable source of profit growth,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Tom Kierath.

“While Coles has been found in violation on this occasion, we understand that the ACCC is investigating similar actions by other grocers,” he said.

“As the Australian Food and Grocery Council implements the grocery code of conduct in 2015, we believe suppliers will have firmer grounds to stand on in dealings with the supermarkets.”

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Nothing holding him back. Vosseler has turned hardship into motivation. Looking sharp…Jesse hits the pads under the watchful eye of his trainer.
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Vosseler had aimed for the Olympics in his youth.

Despite losing his leg to cancer at 16, Brisbane boxer Jesse Vosseler rolled with the punches and has now joined the ranks of Australia’s professional boxing elite.

Vosseler turned professional after defeating competitor Jesse Saavedra at Ipswich’s Big Fight Night competition at the Grand Hotel in Yamanto on November 19.

Becoming professional has proven a long road, after having his leg amputated from the knee down as a result of a cancerous tumour.

Pursuing boxing for “personal strength” at 18, Vosseler eventually grew strong enough to jump in the ring seriously at 24.

And despite admitting he never thought he’d get this far, he has shown no signs of slowing down.

“When I first got back in the ring, I just wanted to get in once and fight and I wanted to prove to myself I could still do it,” he says.

“Now, I’ve had over 20 fights back in the ring and still going.”

The amputation put “a big dint” in Vosseler’s confidence, a passionate pugilist who grew up with Olympic ambitions.

While acknowledging he could have gone “a lot further” with the sport, Jesse is proud of all he has achieved during his comeback.

“I’ve still managed to accomplish some good heights even though I’ve lost my leg and I overcome it to fight for an Australian title in the Australian Amateurs and turn professional,” he says.

For Jesse, boxing is an outlet that alleviates him from his disability. He cites a pure “love of boxing” as the key driver that motivates him to get back in the ring.

“When I’m boxing I don’t feel like I am disabled in there. I feel like a fighter, a warrior. When I’m in there boxing I forget all about my leg. It’s a different world for me, that’s what I love about it,” says Vosseler.

He credits fitness and a healthy lifestyle for helping to re-build his confidence and self esteem during his recovery.

“Even if it isn’t a sport, if your just getting fit again and going to the gym or something like that just to build your confidence up…If you’re fit and healthy even after a loss of limb it’s amazing for your confidence and how you feel about yourself,” he says.

Sean Reynolds, Manager and head trainer at Tuff Technique Boxing and Fitness at Chermside believes Jesse is a “huge influence and inspiration to people and a lot of kids” because of his persistence and dedication to the sport.

Reynolds foresees a prosperous future ahead for the up-and-coming lightweight.

“I’d rate him as a kid who will go very far in boxing,”

Mr Reynolds described Vosselor’s boxing year as “gruelling”, winning 10 fights and wrapping up the year by turning professional.

After taking it easy leading up to Christmas, Reynolds foresees Vesselor stepping back into the ring in March next year.

“He’s a brilliant boxer and yes I’d say people will look out for him because he’s going to go places.”  

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