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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 29 October 2015) . . Page.. 3925 ..


raised with me over recent months as part of the development of this bill and which I then in turn raised with my colleagues. I discussed this with Minister Gentleman in the cabinet process.

I flagged some of my concerns and I was provided with a range of information—I understand the same information has been provided to Ms Lawder—that illustrates that community consultation has been ongoing on this specific bill since April this year, right up to this month. Of course that sits in the context of the broader reform of the out of home care strategy which has being going for a couple of years now. So I do feel that there has been a lot of work done on this legislation.

Clearly there are some important details that still need to be communicated to people, and that is a challenge that sits with the minister and his directorate staff now to be very proactive in explaining this legislation to people. But, overall, from the discussions my office and I have had with the stakeholders in this space, we believe that there are a lot of positives in this legislation. Given the consultation that has been taking place, the extensive engagement with stakeholders over a considerable period, I think it is appropriate that we proceed with this legislation as proposed today.

Question put:

That the motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 6

Noes 7

Mr Coe

Ms Lawder

Mr Barr

Ms Fitzharris

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Ms Berry

Mr Gentleman

Mr Hanson

Dr Bourke

Mr Rattenbury

Mrs Jones

Mr Corbell

Question so resolved in the negative.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (6.15): I am pleased to speak on the Children and Young People Amendment Bill 2015 (No 3). It is a bill for an act to amend the Children and Young People Act 2008 and for other purposes. This bill will give effect to a number of elements of a step up for our kids, a new out of home care strategy released by the government in January this year. It is the third of a series of bills brought before the Assembly seeking to give effect to that strategy.

I note at the outset that the Canberra Liberals want to ensure that the best interests of children and young people in the ACT are paramount. One of the key elements of the bill is that it proposes to allow the director-general to seek long-term care orders for children aged under two years after a continuous period of 12 months in care.

The proposed amendments will also reduce the period that a child or young person is required to be in care and living with the carer who will be assuming full parental responsibility under an enduring parental responsibility order. The period will reduce from two years to one year, or a total of one year in the previous two years. The


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