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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 1276 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

The review committee recommended that the government consider introducing in the legislation provision for teacher registration. This is not included in the legislation at this time. Instead, the government has begun an extensive period of consultation to examine and resolve the complex issues involved in teacher registration. The Department of Education and Community Services has already held a forum on this matter and an issues paper has been developed by the department in consultation with the ACT Branch of the Australian Education Union. Teachers, parent groups, the non-government school sector, unions and universities will all participate in the broad-ranging discussions. The government will also need to produce a regulatory impact statement prior to introducing any such legislation.

Mr Speaker, we recognise that legislation does not make good schools. However, I am confident that this legislation will provide an enduring framework for school education in the territory. I commend the bill to members of the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Berry ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Children and Young People Amendment Bill 2001 (No 2)

Mr Moore , by leave, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (11.22): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The bill I now present to the Assembly will achieve three things. First, it will remedy a technical problem in the transition between the Children's Services Act 1986 and the Children and Young People Act 1999 by converting child protection orders made under the Children's Services Act 1986 as a result of annual court-based reviews to orders under the Children and Young People Act 1999. This will ensure that those children protected under the previous act will continue to be protected by the new legislation.

Secondly, it will remove the uncertainty about the date at which the chief executive is required to annually report in relation to a child or young person for whom the chief executive has parental responsibility.

Thirdly, it will return the legislative protection for people who have reported suspected child abuse under the Children's Services Act. People undertaking this onerous public duty, whether on a voluntary or a mandatory basis, need to be assured that their identity cannot be disclosed. This protection has been part of the Children's Services Act and was inadvertently omitted during the drafting of the current act.

If this legislation does not pass this week, Mr Speaker, the protection afforded to some notifiers and the nature of some child protection orders will be in doubt. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Wood ) adjourned to the next sitting.

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