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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 2309..


MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, in the follow-up to the Vardon report and the government's subsequent announcement of a major overhaul of the ACT's child protection system, revised administrative arrangement orders were notified and gazetted on 26 May 2004 to create a new children, youth and family support agency. The arrangements also changed the associated legislative, administrative and ministerial responsibilities for the new unit and retitled the education department as the Department of Education and Training.

In line with this, Ms Gallagher's appointment as Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services was changed to that of Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support and Minister for Education and Training. By making these changes, the government took another important step in ensuring better protection of vulnerable children from abuse and neglect in the ACT.

Additionally, eight new laws recently passed by the Assembly were added, namely the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act, the Human Rights Act, the Human Cloning and Embryo Research Act, the Architects Act, the Building Act, the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act, the Education Act, and the Dangerous Substances Act.

A further amendment to the arrangements was notified and gazetted on 28 May 2004, principally to add the new Gungahlin Drive Extension Authorisation Act, which was passed by this Assembly last month. An editorial amendment was also made to the title of the new Office for Children, Youth and Family Support.

Review of the Safety of Children in the Care of the ACT and of ACT Child Protection Management

Report and government response

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the following papers:

The Territory as Parent-Review of the Safety of Children in the Care of the ACT and of ACT Child Protection Management-

Report prepared by Cheryl Vardon, Public Service Commissioner, dated 14 May 2004.

Government response, dated 25 May 2004.

I ask for leave to make a statement in relation to the papers.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I am pleased to table the report The Territory as Parent: Review of the Safety of Children in Care in the ACT and of ACT Child Protection Management and the government response to the report. On 21 January 2004 I announced the terms of reference for the review. The Commissioner for Public Administration, Ms Cheryl Vardon, conducted the review under section 21 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994.


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