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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2776..


(2) There are no current plans to install lighting on this stretch of road, as the available funding provided as part of the 2004/05 budget will be used to provide street lighting on Gungahlin Drive and Mirrabei Drive.

(3) Yes, lighting of Hindmarsh Drive between Symonston and O'Malley will be considered for implementation in a future capital works program.

Child protection

(Question No 1486)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, upon notice, on 4 May 2004:

(1) Further to your interjection in the Assembly on 4 March 2004, Hansard page 721, that the failure of some eight persons who were mandated to report failed to do so in respect of a child who died subsequent to presenting with bruising and other indications of hurt had been followed up, how has the matter been followed up;

(2) Will the Minister be taking action against these eight persons; if so, what action will be taken;

(3) If not, why not.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to Mr Cornwell's question is:

(1) All eight persons whom the Coroner identified as mandated to report received a letter from the Director of Family Services advising of their mandated responsibility to report in line with the Coroner's statement that no mandated person is able to delegate this statutory responsibility to another. Since the Coronial Inquest in June 2002, Family Services has responded to the Coroner's concerns about mandatory reporting with a comprehensive community education strategy. 15,000 copies of the mandatory reporting booklet "Keeping Children and Young People Safe"were printed and have been distributed to all pre-schools, primary schools, high schools, both government and non-government, and colleges. The booklet has also been sent to doctors, nurses, dentists, childcare centres and family day care services in the ACT. Relevant public servants, such as the police and ambulance drivers, also received copies of the booklet.

(2) The Director of Public Prosecutions decided that no prosecution action would be taken regarding the eight persons whom the Coroner identified as having failed to report. Disciplinary action regarding those persons is a matter for the relevant Chief Executives. They have been made aware of the issue and such action has been deemed unwarranted. These decisions are consistent with the views expressed in the report prepared by the Law Reform Commission which recommended the introduction of mandatory reporting in 1981. The Commission, chaired by Justice Kirby, stated: "The Commission believes that the existence of the sanction is more important than its enforcement; it can purposefully be used to educate, to direct and to reinforce good intentions rather than provide a basis for prosecutions...."

(3) As above.


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