Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Transfer of the Office of the Public Guardian

The Office of the Public Guardian has been transferred from the Department of Health to the Department of Attorney-General and Justice, in an administrative change that will bring it in line with other Australian jurisdictions.

All other independent offices in the Northern Territory are already hosted by the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice.

Additionally, all financial administration orders currently held by the Public Guardian will be transferred to the Public Trustee during 2019.

Financial administration orders are put in place for Represented Adults – those who have impaired decision-making capacity and do not have a family member or other person to take on the role.

There will be no change to the guardianship services offered by the Office of the Public Guardian, which will retain responsibility for health and personal matters.

The transfer did not result in any additional expenses and there will be no change to Office of the Public Guardian staffing or structure.

Contact details remain the same – call 1800 810 979 (8am to 4pm weekdays), email or visit

Quotes from Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, and Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles:

“The Territory Labor Government respects the rights of all Territorians, and the work the Office of the Public Guardian carries out in relation to human rights and social justice issues for people with a disability will be better recognised within this new framework.

“Locating the Office of the Public Guardian with other independent agencies, such as the Anti-Discrimination Commission, will improve communication and collaboration, which will streamline processes and help us provide a better service for some of our most vulnerable Territorians.”

Quotes from Public Guardian, Beth Walker:

“This is a historic and eagerly awaited announcement for the Northern Territory. These changes will improve and centralise guardianship and administration services provided to people with impaired decision-making capacity, aligning the Northern Territory with other jurisdictions across Australia.

“These changes will strengthen the Office of the Public Guardian’s capacity to focus on the rights of adults with impaired decision-making capacity and ensure our practice reflects contemporary, best-practice guardianship principles within a human rights framework.

Media Contact: Leanne Hudson 0427 687 079