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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 4 June 2015) . . Page.. 2124 ..


the ACT, and introduces a right of review of the decision on approval as a suitable entity.

While the primary focus is on ensuring the health and wellbeing of children and young people, these amendments will bring benefits for service providers. For example, the provision of a risk-based and proportionate response means that they can focus on addressing those issues that are identified that may lead to harm rather than meeting a standard checklist that applies to every organisation, regardless of any operational differences.

Individuals or organisations are assessed across a number of areas to determine their suitability, and these will now cover consideration around the quality of care and support provided, including the quality of staff and carers providing direct support for a child or young person, financial viability and governance arrangements, and the requirement for an organisation to nominate a person who is responsible for the delivery of services in the ACT to be a suitable entity for that purpose.

Consultation with the Children and Young People Commissioner has also been a focus included, with organisations having to demonstrate that they are child-safe and child-friendly organisations—another area of interest to the royal commission on institutional child abuse. We will be continuing to work with providers to make sure they understand their new roles and responsibilities and that they feel supported to respond to the changes as they are implemented.

The Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety, in their legislative scrutiny role, raised some points of clarification in the bill as presented on 7 May this year, and we have been pleased to amend the bill to address those issues raised. That includes also a supplementary explanatory statement.

I would also like to thank the opposition spokesperson, Ms Lawder, and her staff for their constructive and thoughtful feedback on this bill. A number of Ms Lawder’s proposed amendments are reflected in the government amendments made in response to the scrutiny of bills committee report. I also congratulate officers in my directorate on their dedication and passion regarding our most vulnerable people.

I will speak to both the government amendments and the amendments proposed by Ms Lawder at the same time, and in the order that they are presented in the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (5.44): Pursuant to standing order 182A(a), (b) and (c), I seek leave to move amendments Nos 1 to 13 to this bill, which are urgent, minor or technical in nature and in response to comments made by the scrutiny committee, together.


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