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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 February 2011) . . Page.. 231 ..


The ACT government has in place mechanisms that review the individual deaths of children and young people in the ACT. These mechanisms make recommendations that contribute towards the improved services and future prevention of child death. These mechanisms include coronial inquiries, the ACT Health Clinical Review Committee process and the internal review mechanisms within the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services.

Having a mechanism as proposed by the bill that considers all deaths of ACT children and young people provides a broader overview for the ACT. A mechanism that can be comprehensively informed by the information available from other agencies and review mechanisms is an effective and resource-efficient means of preventing future child deaths.

Mr Assistant Speaker, the government has had discussions with both the Greens and the opposition. I am looking forward to the opportunity in the detail stage—it is my understanding that we will deal with the in-principle stage today—to talk more on proposed amendments by all three parties concerned. I look forward to that discussion. It is an important piece of work. Therefore, I take the opportunity over the coming weeks to work through these amendments as we come to them in this place at the detail stage in a transparent and a collegiate manner. I look forward to that and I support the bill at this point.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.55): It should be an axiom rather than a cliche that children and young people are our future. As parents, we have a role to create a society that values our children and puts them in a place where they feel valued and where they can create that future for themselves. Part of the role we play is to give our kids every opportunity to realise their full potential, to live the dream and ultimately to do their job as parents for the next generation—to do what we, as their parents, seek to do now.

But some of our children do not make it there. They do not realise their full potential. They do not live the dream and they do not get to do their jobs as the parents of the next generation. They do not get to do that because there are some circumstances that can arise that take them away from us prematurely and needlessly.

For this reason, the Liberal opposition will be supporting the Children and Young People (Death Review) Amendment Bill 2010, which establishes a child and young people death review committee. This committee will review all deaths of ACT-resident children and young people, whether the deaths occur in the ACT or elsewhere, with the objective of analysing and reporting on any emerging trends or patterns.

The committee will be able to share information with similarly established committees and review teams in other jurisdictions. It is hoped that by analysing the emerging trends and patterns and by conferring with other committees elsewhere, some work can be done to ameliorate the circumstances under which needless death occurs amongst our children.

I note, too, from my consultation with community organisations that the community supports the thrust of this bill. It is interesting that back in 2004, the ACT government


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