Page 843 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 March 2005

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current distinctions between periods of service before 11 May 1964 and periods of service after that time.

This distinction seems unnecessary more than 40 years after the rate of accrual was altered. It would require an employee to have outstanding long service leave entitlements relating to service over 40 years ago. Such a circumstance would be unlikely, as section 6 (1) of the act actively encourages employers to ensure that employees take their long service leave as it accrues.

In addition to the policy amendments I have mentioned, there are minor amendments to reflect modern drafting practice and schedule 1 contains criminal code harmonisation amendments. The effect and purpose of the technical amendments and criminal code amendments are explained in detail in the explanatory statement, which I commend to the Assembly with this bill.

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

Education, Training and Young People—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MS PORTER (Ginninderra): I seek leave to make a statement regarding a new inquiry.

Leave granted.

MS PORTER: The Standing Committee on Education, Training and Young People has resolved to conduct an inquiry into and report on the practice of restorative justice principles in youth settings, with particular reference to, firstly, the development and implementation of programs in schools, youth services and youth justice settings; secondly, the allocation of government resourcing and its impact on the development and implementation of restorative justice programs; thirdly, strategies for involving young people in the development of programs; fourthly, programs to support young people and their families; and, fifthly, any other related matter.

The ACT government has a commitment to restorative justice practice within the justice and community settings. Restorative justice seeks to use long-term methods that allow for both the offender and those affected to come together to be heard, and for long-term restoration to be achieved. Members are familiar with restorative justice, which seeks to divert offenders from criminal justice systems and provide restitution to victims. Restorative justice principles, however, are broader than just the actual mechanical processes.

Restorative justice practice is already happening within 16 government schools in the ACT and a number of non-government schools. It changes the culture of bullying and harassment within a school and other undesirable behaviour by changing the whole school culture to one of inclusivity, understanding and respect. Restorative justice practice has been trialled in youth settings in other places in Australia, and internationally, with great success.

As I mentioned yesterday, the Department of Education and Training has an implementation working party to foster and culture action within schools and further

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