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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4035 ..

With respect to providing assistance and support to teaching staff in their delivery of sexual health education to students with a disability, SHFPACT have significant expertise in providing sex education to people with disabilities, and their expertise augments the sexual health teaching delivered under the curriculum by the ACT Education Directorate. I refer also to providing sexual health information and assistance to parents, as the primary caregivers of young people with disability, and upskilling disability service providers to be able to adequately support the sexual health needs of people with disability for whom they care.

I join with Minister Davidson in wishing all a happy I-Day and thanking the Disability Reference Group and all of those with disability in our community who are engaging with us in co-design for their contribution to the ACT community.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Public Health Amendment Bill 2021 (No 2)

Ms Stephen-Smith, together with Mr Barr, by leave, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (10.48): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I rise today to present the Public Health Amendment Bill 2021 (No 2). The bill has been developed in a period of ongoing uncertainty not experienced in a century. In my ministerial statement on the ACT government response to COVID-19 earlier today, I outlined the ongoing risks and challenges facing the ACT community. In the last week we have seen the emergence of a variant of concern that has led to renewed international border closures and quarantine arrangements, as health professionals the world over work quickly to understand the Omicron variant.

Of course, we would all prefer to not need the power to implement public health measures and for COVID to be over. But these recent events have reminded us that the global pandemic is not over, new risks may emerge, and rapid responses may still be required. The bill recognises that, for the foreseeable future, there will continue to be unknowns, and that government must have the tools to respond—to protect the community—without relying on public health emergency powers if they are no longer justified.

The bill sets out the government’s proposed approach to managing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Officials across the ACT Health Directorate and Justice and Community Safety have worked closely with the Human Rights Commission on the development of this bill, recognising that, as we move from an emergency footing into

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