Optimism over Coalition’s ministry

The Mental Health Council of Australia (MCHA) has called on Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott to ensure mental health remained a priority “despite removing it as a dedicated portfolio”.

“We hope that the new Abbott government recognises that mental health cuts across traditional portfolio boundaries,” MHCA CEO Frank Quinlan said.

“The urgent establishment of the promised review by the National Mental Health Commission will provide an important opportunity to bring true reform to this complex area of public policy.”

The removal of the science portfolio also attracted criticism from the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) and Science and Technology Australia.

AAS secretary for science policy, Professor Les Field, said the decision was surprising and disappointing, adding that he hoped the situation would be rectified in the coming days.

“Science reaches into so many areas of our lives and