Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 9 June 2016) . . Page.. 1898 ..
Following a tragic death in this city earlier this year, we appointed Mr Laurie Glanfield to conduct an independent review of our system-level responses to family violence. His report made 31 recommendations for improvements to the service system. Government agencies and non-government agencies must improve their process for information sharing. Mr Glanfield specifically identified the provisions now in place in New South Wales as ones that should be adopted. The government is committed to addressing the recommendations of the Glanfield inquiry, and enacting these provisions through this bill in respect to children and young people is an important first step.
Of course, Madam Speaker, the scheme will not in itself address all issues. The royal commission has also stated that:
… together, the reportable conduct scheme, the Working with Children Check, and information sharing provisions provide oversight mechanisms that promote the protection of children.
To this end, the ACT has already put in place measures to create child safe organisations, including working with vulnerable people checks, measures in the Official Visitor Act 2012, which give voice to those in government care, and child safe organisation guidelines, which are a requirement for any government-funded out of home care programs, as well as child, youth and family support services. However, we are constantly looking to improve these measures, and to ensure that our safeguards are as effective as possible.
These changes will take some time to implement, but we have the advantage of being able to learn from and build on the experience of the New South Wales reportable conduct scheme. But we still need to build capacity here in the ACT, and to take the community and those affected in our workforces that provide services to children into a new era; a new era of accountability and a new era of fairness.
To this end we will commence the majority of this bill on 1 July 2017. We will use the time between now and then to ensure that all designated entities have systems in place to make notifications and to conduct investigations. However, amendments that are designed to improve information sharing between the Director-General of Community Services and the Commissioner for Fair Trading in respect to working with vulnerable people checks can commence as soon as enactment has occurred.
Madam Speaker, I commend this most significant bill to the Assembly and look forward to its receiving the unanimous support of this place when it is debated in the next parliamentary sittings.
Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.
Crimes (Serious and Organised Crime) Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.