Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (23 October) . . Page.. 4005 ..
MR SPEAKER: Order! The time being 12.26, it is 45 minutes after the commencement of Assembly business and the debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 77. The resumption of debate is made an order of the day for the next sitting.
Suspension of standing orders
MRS DUNNE(12.26): Mr Speaker, I move:
That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent debate on Assembly Business, Notices Nos 1 and 2 , continuing after question time today.
Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.
Sitting suspended from 12.28 to 2.30 pm.
MR QUINLAN(Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming): Mr Speaker, I advise the house that Mr Corbell will be 15 minutes or so late. If we could hold back on questions for him until later, otherwise I will take them.
Questions without notice
Children-mandatory abuse reporting
MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Chief Minister. In light of the fact that I wrote to you about something else in relation to this particular matter, you probably have some awareness of it, which is good. I direct it to you, sir, because it involves at least two agencies.
On 23 June 2003, Coroner Doogan handed down her findings in relation to the death in suspicious circumstances of a six-year-old girl at Wanniassa. I will not name the girl because the coroner asked that that not be done. In her findings, Coroner Doogan said:
The single most obvious and disturbing aspect is the disregard by many persons required by law to report a suspicion that a child has suffered a non accidental physical injury. The mandatory reporting requirement of Section 159 of the Children and Young People Act 1999 is very clear. In this little girl's case some 8 persons who were mandated to report failed to do so. This includes ambulance officers, nurses and doctors.
The DPP subsequently concluded that it would not lay charges.
Chief Minister, what have you done, and what has your government done, to ensure that the departments concerned take action against individuals who failed in their mandatory reporting duties?