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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 7 Hansard (2 August) . .

Page.. 2079..


managing instances of hoarding and squalor under the Public Health Act 1997 to ensure that regulatory actions are only employed when in the public interest and as a measure of last resort.

In line with the government's commitment to transparency and accountability, this bill will also help to improve community awareness and understanding about the complex public health and social issues and ACT Health's management of insanitary conditions.

The bill also makes a minor change to the offence structure for causing or allowing an insanitary condition. The current provision is considered impractical as it requires that the person responsible for the insanitary condition believe it to be insanitary and that this belief be objectively proven. The bill will update this offence so that an insanitary condition is one that an "ordinary reasonable person" would consider insanitary. This construction takes a more practical approach and better aligns the provision with the interpretation that an insanitary condition is generally considered as being offensive to acceptable community health standards.

The bill makes minor changes to existing administrative processes under the Public Health Act 1997 and in doing so will provide public health and community benefits relating to recurring insanitary conditions. The bill marks another milestone in achieving the ACT government's priorities of liveability and opportunity and being a healthy and smart community. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Wall) adjourned to the next sitting.

Reportable Conduct and Information Sharing Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

Debate resumed from 9 June 1916, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (11.39): I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak today about the Reportable Conduct and Information Sharing Legislation Amendment Bill 2016. The bill is an act to amend legislation about reportable conduct and information sharing and for other purposes. The bill introduces a reportable conduct scheme to improve reporting and oversight of allegation of misconduct by an employee or volunteer against children in organisations with a duty of care to children and young people. The bill amends the Ombudsman Act 1989, the Children and Young People Act 2008 and the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011.

I say at the outset that the Canberra Liberals are supportive overall of this bill. We support better information sharing to protect children and young people in our community. Earlier this year in March we debated a motion about information sharing and care and protection in the context of family violence. At that time we spoke about the need for better information sharing between care and protection and other ACT government directorates and agencies as well as interstate and other jurisdictions that will only improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.


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