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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2558 ..

I move:

That the report be noted.

The Carers Recognition Bill 2021 was referred to the committee on 23 June. In accordance with the committee’s resolution as it affects the consideration of bills, the committee decided to inquire into the bill. The committee notified Madam Speaker and Ms Suzanne Orr MLA of its intention to inquire into the bill. The committee sought views on the bill from organisations in the caring community and from the community more broadly. The committee received six submissions on the bill. The committee then held one hearing on 27 July and took evidence from several carers representatives as well as from Ms Suzanne Orr MLA.

I should note that, to date, the ACT Assembly has never enacted a recognition bill of the type of the Carers Recognition Bill 2021. The bill, in its current form, expressly does not seek to create in any person a legal right or give rise to any civil cause of action. The objects of the bill centre around recognition of carers as individuals and the value they bring to those they care for in the wider community. The bill also proposes new reporting requirements against care relationship principles for care and carer support agencies.

While new to the territory, all other jurisdictions except Tasmania have enacted similar legislation. Though substantially similar, each jurisdiction’s law varies in detail. The committee’s report provides an appendix in which such legislation in Australian jurisdictions can be noted. The committee supports the bill, recommends that the Assembly support the bill, and recommends that the government support the bill in its passage through this Assembly.

The committee has made a total of 13 recommendations which will clarify, in the committee’s view, such matters as the role of carers in advocacy on policy as well as providing care; informal carers’ connections with a care relationship; recognition for the needs of informal volunteer and family carers; possible stronger reporting requirements than appear in the bill; support for carers from a suitable source of guidance to enable carer entities to meet reporting requirements; and the contribution bereaved carers make to caring policy.

This is a very worthwhile legislative initiative. The committee recommends its consideration, and commends Ms Suzanne Orr MLA for presenting the bill, along with the committee’s report to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

COVID-19 pandemic response—lockdown

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (10.17): On 12 August, the ACT entered a lockdown period following the notification of a

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