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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 12 Hansard (11 November) . . Page.. 3893..


Debate resumed from 23 September 1997, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Debate (on motion Mr Corbell) adjourned.




Debate resumed from 25 September 1997, on motion by Mr Stefaniak:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is it the wish of the Assembly to debate this order of the day concurrently with the Crimes (Amendment) Bill (No. 5) 1997? There being no objection, that course will be followed. I remind members that in debating order of the day No. 3 they may also address their remarks to order of the day No. 4.

MS REILLY (11.28): There are three parts to this matter when you consider it in detail. There are the amendments to the Children's Services Act and the two issues to be considered there, and there is the Crimes (Amendment) Bill (No. 5) and the issues contained within it. It will be easier if I talk about some of the issues in each of those parts.

The first part in relation to the Children's Services (Amendment) Bill, the part that is probably the least problem, is the report by the Official Visitor to Quamby and other children's services institutions. The role of the Official Visitor is important because it is an opportunity for a person who is independent of the children's services area to look at the conditions and listen to the complaints of those children who are in Quamby or under orders in other children's services institutions. At times, the annual reports of the Official Visitor have been extremely important because this person, no matter who it is, has a role that is separate. There is an opportunity for children in these institutions to talk to someone who does not have either a legal connection or an emotional connection to them. It is important that this role be recognised.

One of the issues has been that the putting together of the annual report has been left slightly in limbo because at times there has been no opportunity to know when the report should be presented to the house and in what format it should be presented to the house.

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