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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 1961 ..

The community can draw confidence from the fact that all applicants for approval in principle, or for licence, will be required to establish that they are suitable people to provide child care. For that purpose the

chief executive is given specific power to require the production of information to enable him or her to make decisions on suitability.

Approvals in principle are to last for fixed periods of 21/2 years. There will also be renewable licences, which may last for periods up to 3 years at a time. Licence conditions defining standards of care will apply to each childrens service, with conditions on family day care schemes being modelled on endorsed national standards.

Procedures for granting, setting and monitoring conditions, and renewing, varying and cancelling approvals and licences are set out in the Bill. There are also specific provisions relating to the removal of children from services in emergencies and for the suspension of unsafe services. As suspension or cancellation issues will impact directly on the care of children at services, the Bill addresses a serious technical problem encountered in the Childrens Services Act by empowering the chief executive to keep people with parental responsibility for children at services apprised of such developments.

Members should note that the licensing regime established by the Bill is intended to be cost-neutral to the community and has been devised in line with the Government's commitment to national competition policy.

I commend the Bill to Members.

Debate (on motion by Mr Rugendyke ) adjourned.


MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.07): Mr Speaker, on behalf of Mr Stefaniak, I present the Children and Young People (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1999, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

I seek leave to have the presentation speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows:

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