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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 17 March 2005 2005) . . Page.. 1268 ..


If a child was removed from the father’s custody under the circumstances referred to in part (6), (a) was it done so pursuant to an order issued by an ACT Magistrate and (b) on what date was the complaint or allegation which was the basis of this action provided to the Office;

What was the imperative that made it necessary to have the child removed with the assistance of armed police if the time that had elapsed between the date of the child's removal and the date on which the complaint or allegation was made was more than a month;

If a child was removed from the father’s custody under the circumstances referred to in part (6), was the action of the Office or any court orders that related to the matter appealed by the father to the ACT Supreme Court;

If so, what was the result of the appeal;

If a child was removed from the father’s custody under the circumstances referred to in part (6), did legal counsel for the Office at any time believe or suspect that the legal basis underpinning the Office’s actions, be it based on a magistrate’s order or otherwise, was invalid;

If legal counsel for the Office of Children, Youth and Family Support did at any time believe or suspect that the legal basis underpinning the Office’s actions, be it based on a magistrate’s order or otherwise, was invalid, was this view communicated to any officials of the Office;

If such a belief or suspicion was communicated to officials in the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support, when was it communicated;

Did any member of the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support, other than legal counsel, at any time believe or suspect, or have reason to believe or suspect, that the legal basis underpinning the Office of Children, Youth and Family Support actions, be it based on a magistrates order or otherwise, was invalid;

If so, why did the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support take the action it did in removing the child from its father’s custody.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

It is a matter of public record that the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support was involved in a matter in the Supreme Court on 24 December 2004.

On 24 December 2004, the father appealed a Care and Protection Order which was made in the Children’s Court by application of the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support on 20 December 2004.

The ruling by Justice Crispin decreed that a Care and Protection Order dated 20 December 2004 was unlawful due to an administrative error. This error occurred in the Children’s Court, not because of any unlawful action by Care and Protection Services.

Justice Crispin also criticised the fact that Care and Protection Staff acted on the basis of allegations received by them more than two months earlier. This finding is disputed by the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support.


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