Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 2366 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
Mr Speaker, the Bill does provide for the arrest of a child under the age of 10 but only for the purpose of taking the child back to its parents or to some other suitable person. This is the current provision for children under the age of eight years. This Bill also changes the age at which documents may be served on the child notifying him or her of proceedings for a declaration that the child is in need of care. It has often been acknowledged that adults have difficulty in understanding documents commencing legal proceedings, so it seems inappropriate that children as young as eight be served with them.
The Bill does not amend those provisions of the Act relating to when a child voluntarily enters a place of safety. There will still be a requirement that the occupier or person in charge at that place seek the child's permission to contact a parent or other guardian. This is to ensure that the safety of the child is not unnecessarily jeopardised.
Mr Speaker, I put the Government on notice that I expect my reform in relation to the age of criminal responsibility to be carried through to the Children and Young People Bill 1999. If the Government does not amend its current draft of the Bill, I will be pleased to do so.
Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries ) adjourned.
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
Question (by Mr Smyth ) put:
That the debate be adjourned.
The Assembly voted -
AYES, 6 NOES, 8 Ms Carnell Mr Berry Mr Cornwell Mr Hargreaves Mr Hird Mr Kaine Mr Humphries Mr Osborne Mr Moore Mr Quinlan Mr Smyth Mr Stanhope Ms Tucker Mr WoodQuestion so resolved in the negative.