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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 7 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2556..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

I must note, however, that these issues were flagged by me in the debate on this last year. I think that part of the problem arises from the previous minister's insistence that all matters relating to children and young people should be incorporated into one piece of legislation. The bulk of the consultation and the consideration went into the care and protection elements, which is rightly the case, and there have been a range of unintended consequences and fix-ups that have had to be carried out because this was a large piece of legislation and some of the detail was overlooked. We see this morning the minister's introduction of the Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill, which is another range of fix-ups that relate to problems from introducing such a large piece of legislation and trying to do everything at once. It was flawed policy and I suspect that we will be back again to fix up other aspects of the children and young people's legislation.

I am glad that the minister has brought this matter forward, because it had created considerable problems for young people who were seeking employment. This issue had been raised with me by constituents who had found that their children could not obtain employment under the provisions as they were proposed. I am glad that the government has seen fit to fix up its mistakes and I hope there will not be too many more fix-ups necessary.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (11.10): I would like to thank Mr Barr's office for providing me with information on this short and technical bill. The amendments to the act outlined in this bill are a clarification of the changes brought about by the Children and Young People Act 2008 and I am pleased to see that the ACT government is continuing its work to improve employment legislation for children and young people. It is vital that there is a strong legal framework that protects young workers, particularly in regard to issues such as wages and conditions and occupational health and safety.

I believe, responding to Mrs Dunne, that in fact having all matters relating to children and young people in one act is the way to go, and I support it. It was a major piece of legislation, one of the largest pieces of legislation to come before this Assembly, and I commend the people who worked on it.

On a related matter, I will be interested to see the feedback on and outcomes of the discussion paper on the employment of children and young people in the ACT, which was released in March this year, and request that the minister's office keep me informed of the progress of this work. The ACT Greens, as I said, will be supporting this bill.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Planning and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (11.11), in reply: In closing the debate, I thank members for their contributions and for their support of this relatively straightforward legislative amendment.

It is a very practical reform: it broadens the definition of employment for children and young people. It will make sure that all young people in the territory have the chance


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