Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2665 ..
Bradyn Dillon, a nine-year-old boy known to Child and Youth Protection services in the ACT. The inquiry produced a report, often known as the Glanfield inquiry report, a couple of months later, in April 2016, which made many important recommendations.
These recommendations addressed not only many of the issues in our care and protection system here in the ACT, but also measures to prevent and reduce domestic and family violence in this territory. Bradyn was one of several victims who have died at the hands of family violence in the ACT. There are also many who have suffered harm and even grievous injuries in this territory at the hands of domestic or family violence. Territory data collected in 2019 showed that 41 per cent of all assaults recorded in the ACT were related to domestic or family violence.
In 2018, the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network developed a national minimum dataset to better analyse domestic and family violence deaths throughout Australia. This bill will establish a domestic and family violence incident review, which will review both deaths and incidents resulting in serious harm, which will meet the requirements of that dataset.
In addition, it will provide valuable data to this territory so that emerging patterns can be identified that will inform policy, procedural and legislative changes that will help to prevent and reduce the number of deaths and other incidents involving domestic and family violence—similar in function to the ACT Children and Young People Death Review Committee, which was established in 2011. I note that the proposed review function in this bill will be established within the public service, like the New South Wales model, so that the review outcomes can be directly reported to the minister and inform governance more readily.
The bill will establish a domestic and family violence review coordinator, a position that will be taken on by the Coordinator-General for Family Safety, which will provide for a number of powers, including establishing advisory committees and supporting independent advisers, as well as information access powers that will enable the coordinator and their team to create a register of domestic and family violence incidents in the ACT or involving ACT residents.
The coordinator is also given powers to share information with authorised entities such as the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network so that national data can be collated and analysed, and they are given the power to request and even require information to be provided, which can be enforced via penalties.
The collection and management of people’s personal identifying information, demographic data, relevant health records, criminal and family violence history, interactions with community-based services, and other personal circumstances must be handled with the utmost care. It reminds me of a debate we have had just recently. This bill recognises the importance of privacy rights, as well as the need to collect and collate data that is essential to preventing domestic and family violence. I have noted the safeguards and limitations provided for in this bill, and look forward to seeing how it operates in practice in holding the government to account where there are any concerns that are manifested.