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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 4 Hansard (5 April) . .

Page.. 1096..


MS BURCH: and this was around the reportable conduct scheme that was discussed at COAG.

MADAM SPEAKER: Unless anyone can correct me, I do not recall up until now any question in relation to the reportable conduct scheme. I think, therefore, I have to rule the question out of order.

Mr Barr: Madam Speaker, could I read from my final—when you cut me off at the end of my—

MADAM SPEAKER: I am sorry, look—

Mr Barr: No, I was making the point that one thing all leaders could easily agree on was the need to take every step to ensure that children can safely attend school or other institutions. That is what the reportable conduct scheme is about.

MADAM SPEAKER: Okay. As I said, I was open to correction on that. I will allow the question.

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Speaker. So the unanimous agreement across the partisan divide from COAG leaders was to harmonise reportable conduct schemes and this is a big step forward for child safety and protection in this country. That was an initiative that I brought forward to COAG that had its origins in the work of an ACT local hero, Damien De Marco. In the ACT we are, of course, working to introduce our own legislative scheme in coming weeks. This reflects the good work that has occurred in NSW and aligns with the scheme that is proposed for introduction in Victoria.

The royal commission has found systemic failings by institutions to prevent and report child abuse or neglect. A reportable conduct scheme, as is being developed in the ACT, will provide an independent, thorough and consistent review process for allegations of abuse and the response of such organisations to such allegations.

To put this simply, no organisation will be able to sweep child abuse allegations under the carpet anymore. Now is the right time to put forward this proposal on to the national agenda and I was very proud on behalf of the Australian Capital Territory to put it forward at the Council of Australian Governments.

By harmonising schemes, by sharing information between oversight bodies, we will better stop abusers from exploiting gaps and loopholes by moving from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Nationally consistent schemes will also start to restore public confidence in the range of bodies that look after children, whether they are schools, dance classes, sports clubs, scouting groups or religious institutions.

Gaming—poker machines

MR WALL: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, does your government support the community clubs gaming model as it currently stands?


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