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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (3 August) . . Page.. 3341..

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Burke ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Community Services and Social Equity-Standing Committee

Report 3-government response

MS GALLAGHER (Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (3.45): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Community Services and Social Equity-Standing Committee-Report No 3-The rights, interests and well-being of children and young people-Supplementary Government response, dated August 2004.

I ask for leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MS GALLAGHER: I'm pleased to table the supplementary government response to the Standing Committee on Community Services and Social Equity Rights, interests and well-being of children and young people report tabled before you on 28 August 2003.

The government has made a commitment to progress recommendations made in the standing committee report and the territory as parent report, and work is progressing on the implementation of these recommendations. The government is committed to establishing a commissioner for children and young people and is working on developing a model that will meet the needs of children and young people in the ACT. The government is also committed to developing a streamlined advocacy and complaint mechanism for children and young people.

The standing committee highlighted the need for children and young people to have access to information and participate in the development of policies and decision making concerning their wellbeing. The government supports these principles and they are reflected in the Children and Young People Act. The government also supports agencies whose role it is to advocate for the voice of children and young people and agencies or groups who represent or are determined by the children and young people themselves. The government has also committed in its response to the territory as parent report to develop a participation model that will enable all children and young people to be involved in a meaningful way in decision-making about their lives.

The government also supports developing specific services that promote the participation and inclusion of indigenous children, young people and their families. The government is developing a specific indigenous unit within the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support reporting directly to the head of the agency.

Communication between government and non-government agencies to improve the outcomes for children and young people is a strong focus of the standing committee report. The government is addressing this issue within many areas of practice, giving due

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