Interstate application of mental health laws

Interstate application of mental health provisions is dealt with in part 13 of the MHA 2014. New South Wales, South Australia and the ACT have passed laws corresponding to those of Victoria regarding the interstate application of each state’s mental health laws. An agreement may also be reached with Queensland in the near future.

These laws deal with:

transfer of involuntary patients interstate: a transfer can only take place after being reviewed by the MHT and only if the MHT considers the transfer to be of benefit to the patient or necessary for their treatment;

interstate CTOs: a person on a CTO from Victoria can continue to receive treatment from a designated mental health service in New South Wales and South Australia. Reciprocal arrangements apply to people on a CTO from New South Wales or South Australia; and

apprehension of involuntary patients absent without leave: if an involuntary patient leaves Victoria for New South Wales, South Australia or the ACT without continuing treatment, they can be apprehended and either hospitalised in that state or returned to Victoria. Reciprocal arrangements occur for involuntary patients from New South Wales, South Australia and the ACT.

Victoria also has agreements with the ACT, NSW and Queensland covering the apprehension and return of forensic and security patients.

For more information, see the DHHS’s website (