Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 5 Hansard (7 May) . .
Having a range of intervention powers ensures that the territory's response is proportionate to the risk or concern. Intervention powers include the ability to issue a notice of direction to an organisation, to cancel the organisation's approval and to immediately suspend an organisation's approval if a child or young person is unsafe.
The bill also proposes an amendment that makes the decision on a care and protection organisation's suitability one that can be reviewed by the Administrative and Civil Appeals Tribunal. Such decisions are not reviewable under the existing legislation. Guidelines for the process of monitoring an organisation and for the use of intervention powers can be made as disallowable instruments under the amendments in the bill. The territory will engage key stakeholders, including organisations which will be subject to oversight by the new system in the development of the guidelines.
The regulatory framework will include an application and assessment against suitability criteria standards that will be expanded upon in a disallowable instrument. The suitability criteria will include four domains that place the safety, wellbeing and participation of children and young people at the centre of its work. The domains will be the quality of care and support; the quality of direct service staff, carers and volunteers; quality environments; and the quality of leadership, governance and financial viability.
All organisations tendering to provide new services through the step up for our kids strategy must be assessed as approved as being a suitable organisation. The assessment is being undertaken against these criteria by the Community Services Directorate's human services registrar independently of the tender process. Only organisations that have been approved as being suitable organisations against these domains will enter into contract negotiations with the territory. The change to the regulatory framework that will be enabled under this amendment bill will therefore involve minimal additional work for these organisations.
I formally commend the Children and Young People Amendment Bill 2015 (No 2) to the Assembly. I am confident that this bill will contribute to the protection of vulnerable children and young people and their families; the provision of support to carers to enable them to provide high quality care to children and young people; organisations maintaining their suitable organisational status, identification and early engagement to manage risk; motivation of organisations to continually improve their operations and service provision; and achievement of the high functioning, accountable service system that is the foundation of the strategy a step up for our kids. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.
Public Accounts—Standing Committee
Statement by chair
MR SMYTH (Brindabella): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts relating to the committee's ongoing inquiry into the loose-fill asbestos insulation eradication scheme. Specifically, the focus of this inquiry is the government's quarterly progress
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