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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 November 2021) . . Page.. 3853 ..


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child placement principle provides a framework for a holistic, best-practice response to families in contact with the child protection system. It emphasises the central role of self-determination in supporting and maintaining connections.

The 1997 Bringing them home report described the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child placement principle as the single most significant change affecting welfare practice since the 1970s. Recommendation 5 of the Our Booris, Our Way review calls on the government to ensure that the full intent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child placement principle is reflected in the Children and Young People Act.

In the lead-up to the 2020 election, ACT Labor committed to fully implementing the Our Booris, Our Way recommendations. Funding the modernisation of the Children and Young People Act is another step towards delivering this commitment. A request for quotation was issued on 12 August for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consultant to undertake consultation about embedding the placement principle into the CYP Act. The Community Services Directorate is currently finalising contract negotiations with the successful provider, and the consultation will be conducted in the first half of 2022.

The consultancy will provide advice to government on the community consensus views of how to support this change in legislation, which will continue to drive improvements in policy and practice. This builds on the work already done to develop a new practice guide to embed the placement principle in practice and the engagement of SNAICC, the national peak body, to train frontline child protection workers and build the directorate’s knowledge and understanding of the context, history and the reasons that the placement principle is so important.

University of Canberra—commercial development

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Chief Minister: what oversight and approval over commercial development at the University of Canberra does your government have, and how does it differ to development on other land in the ACT?

MR BARR: The university has a different lease arrangement that pre-dates self-government. The territory parliament in 2015, from memory, passed an amendment to the University of Canberra Act to enable a wider range of uses for the university’s land assets. Development on the university campus must be consistent with the National Capital Plan and the Territory Plan and with the lease the university has.

This parliament did enable a broader range of uses with the deliberate intent of enabling the university to undertake the sort of commercial development I understand the member would be referring to in this question. So it was enabled by legislation in this parliament. But like all planning matters in the ACT, it must be consistent with the National Capital Plan, the Territory Plan, the individual lease that the university has and, of course, with the intent of the enabling legislation of the territory’s university, the University of Canberra.


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