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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 3317 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

I have read out that subsection. Members may not be aware that in New South Wales there has been recent radical reform to child protection laws that includes a very similar order called compulsory assistance orders. I will just make mention of that particular fact, Mr Speaker.

Mr Wood: We are not arguing about these sorts of things, Minister.

MR STEFANIAK: But it is interesting, Mr Wood, that they can be made for up to three months and extended one or more times. Ours is a bit different. We have got more restrictions, Mr Wood. We do not allow the chief executive to provide this without a court order at all. Our orders can only last for a maximum of eight weeks. New South Wales does not also add the additional provisions about a person being isolated for no more than 12 hours. What we are providing has a lot more restrictions and conditions on it than in New South Wales. It is important for members to realise that.

I do not think this is something that really needs to go to a committee. The community expects this to be put in place. All members are going to be very interested in how it operates. That is appropriate. Certainly the Government will not be supporting Ms Tucker here.

MR RUGENDYKE (5.32): I have spoken to some people Ms Tucker may have spoken to in relation to this matter. I also have heard concerns about resourcing. The debate today has put the onus on the Government to make sure that appropriate resourcing is provided for kids who end up in this therapeutic treatment order situation. Mr Speaker, I note also subclause 233(2)(d), where the court must be satisfied that:

the person or administrative unit proposed to provide the therapeutic protection has indicated to the court a willingness and ability to allocate the resources necessary to implement the program ...

Once again, that resourcing issue is in the division. I am keen to see this Bill implemented. I take advice from the Minister and from the Chief Magistrate who have experience in these matters. On radio this morning, the Chief Magistrate said that the number of kids on therapeutic treatment orders will be small. I also believe it will be appropriate to review it - that is enshrined in the Bill as it stands - within three years. I do not support the referral of Division 5 to a committee which would further delay the implementation of that part of the Bill. This Bill has been consulted to death and I do not believe that part of it should be held up for something that may or may not be a problem. It may be assessed as we go.


(5.35): I want to pick up on Mr Rugendyke's and Mr Stefaniak's responses because they are not responding to what I said. I said certainly the resourcing of the therapeutic protection orders is an issue and that it has been raised as a matter of concern by some of the providers. What I am concerned about is that because it may well be that these therapeutic treatment orders will be resourced, because they will be

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