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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (3 August) . . Page.. 3332..

Motion (by Mr Wood , by leave) agreed to:

That the Assembly authorises the publication of the Auditor-General's Reports Nos 4 2004 and 5 2004.

Review of the safety of children in care

Papers and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs) (3.20): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the following papers:

The Territory as Parent-Review of the Safety of Children in the Care of the ACT and of ACT Child Protection Management-The Territory's Children-Ensuring Safety and Quality Care for Children and Young People-

Report on the Audit and Case Review, dated July 2004.

Government response, dated August 2004.

I seek leave to move a motion authorising publication of the report.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Assembly authorises publication of the Report on the Audit and Case Review.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

MR STANHOPE: I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the report and the government response.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I am pleased to table the audit report The territory's children-ensuring safety and quality care for children and young people and the government's response to the report.

When the Commissioner for Public Administration, Ms Cheryl Vardon, presented her report, The territory as parent: review of the safety of children in care in the ACT and of ACT child protection management on 17 May 2004, the audit review was not complete. The government requested that the commissioner exercise her powers of review under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 in order to tackle a very difficult task. The terms of reference of the review sought assurances about the safety of children and young people in the care and protection system in the ACT.

The commissioner engaged Ms Gwenn Murray, an independent reviewer of child protection matters, to lead an audit team. Ms Murray's experience in conducting the audit of child protection files for the Queensland government in 2003 has proved invaluable. I might say at the outset, Mr Speaker, how fortunate the ACT was in being

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