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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 15 Hansard (15 December) . . Page.. 4888..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

response to this, the Office of the Community Advocate will be provided with all reports where a report of abuse or neglect has been received and where it involves the carer authorised by the chief executive to care for the child or young person.

For children and young people under the parental responsibility of the chief executive, reporting dates for the annual review report on the child or young person's progress will be removed. The chief executive will continue to report once each year for a child or young person subject to a final care and protection order. If the order is in force for less than one year, the chief executive will report at least one month but not earlier than two months before the order expires.

Facilitators of family group conferences will be empowered to undertake free conference work with children, young people and families, including mediation, resolving conflict or doing anything necessary to facilitate conferences. This reflects best practice in the area of family group conferences.

Finally, a new framework is introduced for the protection and release of information under the act. Information is categorised into protected and sensitive information. Information holders include persons exercising a function under or engaged in the administration of the act and also persons to whom information is given. Guidance is provided as to what information may be released by an information holder. The chief executive will also be able to release information where it is decided this would be in the best interests of the child or young person.

The power to make standing orders for places of detention have been extended until December 2006 to allow for a detailed consideration of the policy matters related to youth justice. This extension will allow a detailed consideration of how the new adult sentencing and corrections laws, which have been developed within a human rights framework, might apply to children and young people. This will be undertaken in consultation with the community.

In summary, the bill will improve outcomes for children, young people and their families through improving their participation in decisions that affect their lives, preserving and enhancing the identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, and improving the recognition and assessment of children and young people at risk of abuse and neglect. I commend the bill to members.

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

Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Amendment Bill 2005

Mr Hargreaves , pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statements and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Acting Clerk.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella-Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.50): I move:


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