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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 5 Hansard (7 April) . . Page.. 1613..

(3) On the 15 October 2003 a prescribed burn at Gossan Hill planned by Environment ACT was postponed at the request of the Emergency Services Bureau, due to the potential for unacceptable smoke impact. This prescribed burn was subsequently completed in 2004.

A prescribed burn at Isaacs Ridge was deferred on 22 May 2003 due to changing weather conditions, the burns were later completed on 19 June 2003.

A prescribed burn at Kowen Escarpment was deferred on 30 April 2004 due to changing weather conditions the burns were later completed 11 June 2004.

Debris removal & windrow burning in Stromlo, Uriarra and Pierces Creek was postponed on two specific occasions after media notification, 25 March 2003 and 8 January 2004 due changed weather conditions.

Children—abuse reports

(Question No 240)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, upon notice, on 8 March 2005:

(1) How many reports of child abuse or ill treatment of children were made or referred to the Office of Youth, Children and Family Support in the financial year 2003-2004;

(2) Of those reports considered by the Office, on how many occasions did the Office:

(a) find a child or young person was in need of care and protection within the meaning provided in section 156 of the Children and Young People Act 1999 and

(b) find or suspect that a report was made other than in good faith.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) In the 2003-2004 financial year the Office received 5322 Child Protection Reports. Reporting provisions in the Children and Young People Act 1999 at sections 158 and 159 require that Child Protection Reports are 'caller-defined'. This makes the ACT definition of a Child Protection Report broader than just 'reports of child abuse or ill treatment'. A large number of Child Protection Reports relate to adolescent runaways, risk-taking behaviour by adolescents and other matters not limited to child abuse or ill treatment.

(2) (a) Of the 5322 reports received in 2003-2004, 630 reports were substantiated following investigation. This measure, 'Substantiation' includes those reports where the child was found to be in need of care and protection (as defined by section 156 of the Children and Young People Act 1999).

(b) In order to ensure that all reports of suspected abuse and neglect are responded to in an appropriate fashion, the Office must always assume that Reports are made in good faith. The Australian Federal Police have the capacity (under section 160 of the Children and Young People Act 1999) to pursue people suspected of making vexatious claims.

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