Page 3055 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 23 August 2005

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Mr Stanhope presented the following papers:

Electoral Act—Pursuant to subsection 10A (2)—ACT Legislative Assembly Election 2004—

Electronic Voting and Counting System—Review, dated 27 June 2005.

Review of the Electoral Act 1992, dated 22 July 2005.

Review of the safety of children in the care of the ACT and of ACT child protection management


MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (3.39): For the information of members, I present the following papers:

The Territory as Parent—Second six month status reports—

Review of the safety of children in the care of the ACT and of ACT child protection management, dated August 2005.

The Territory’s Children—Ensuring safety and quality care for children and young people—Report on the audit and case review, dated August 2005.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the papers.

I am pleased to be able to table the second six-month progress report on the implementation of the agreed recommendations of the reports into child safety and protection in the ACT—The Territory as Parent and The Territory’s Children.

Members will recall that on 17 February 2005, I tabled the first six-month implementation reports. The government has embarked on a complex reform task and I can report that we are making steady progress despite a sizeable increase in demand for our services.

In 2004-05, reports of abuse or neglect of children or young people in Canberra grew by 52 per cent over the previous year. We are seeing a similar growth in reportage nationally and we believe that this can be put down to a number of factors. There is no doubt we now have better reporting procedures as well as heightened community awareness about child protection issues. For example, in the ACT we have about 15,000 mandated reporters across a broad range of professions. There are also heightened awareness levels following the release of the Vardon, Murray and other reviews. Of course, we also have a well-educated and informed population that tends to report.

Under the Children and Young People Act 1999 any concern about abuse, neglect or non-accidental injury of a child or young person is recorded as a report. In 2004-05 there were 8,115 child protection reports and consultations in the ACT. In 2001-02 this figure

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