Page 893 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 29 March 2023
What this motion today seeks to do is to have one more little piece of the puzzle put into place for people to be able to use for a gentle introduction to telling their story—not to replace other measures that may be available.
I am looking forward to the minster updating the Assembly on the last sitting day of 2023 on the work for a further streamlined accessible online sexual assault reporting option. I am genuinely hopeful that it is one more piece of the puzzle that we can put into place to assist those very vulnerable members of our community who need our support, not a politicisation of the issue. Thank you.
Amendment agreed to.
Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.
Background Checking Legislation Amendment Bill 2022
Debate resumed from 20 October 2022, on motion by Ms Stephen-Smith:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (4.21): I am thankful for the opportunity to speak to the Background Checking Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 which I, along with the rest of my Canberra Liberal colleagues, will be supporting today.
This bill amends the Children and Young People Act and the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act in the following ways. Firstly, it extends the application of the working with children checks and the NDIS worker screening checks so that disqualifying offences correspond with equivalent interstate offences and historic offences. Secondly, it removes access to the external merits review provision for applicants with class A disqualifying offences. Thirdly, it provides the director-general with the ability to defer the Working with Vulnerable People registration requirement for approved carers in exceptional circumstances. Lastly, the bill addresses a number of other technical and operational issues so that procedures are consistent, effective and an efficient use of public resources.
Building on the Background Checking Legislation Amendment Bill 2020, several of the amendments proposed in this bill are a delayed response to recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Although the final report of the royal commission’s five-year inquiry was published in December 2017, final recommendations made by the royal commission on working with children checks were released almost eight years ago, in August 2015.
Other amendments made to resolve technical and operational issues of the Working with Vulnerable People Scheme will certainly help to clarify processes and improve procedural efficiencies in running the scheme; for example, by removing access to external merits review for applicants with class A disqualifying offences, the administration and efforts spent on allowing for the reviewing and processing of such an application will be spared, as there is no merits review available when an applicant is not eligible for registration to the scheme in the first place.