Page 2533 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 1 July 2008

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see this legislation back being amended on a fairly regular basis so as to make sure that we are up to date—

MR SPEAKER: Which part of the title does that refer to?

MRS DUNNE: All of the title, Mr Speaker; this all relates to the title. We should come back to this legislation, and we may even see a different title at some stage in the future. But we need to put on the record that, with the best will in the world, we have not finished the work today; we have just started a new process.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Come on—back to the title.

MRS DUNNE: On the subject of the title, “children and young people” is a bit of a flavour of the month at the moment; it has become pretty much a national issue. I notice that the federal government want a whole lot of initiatives in a national approach to children and young people, which we should take with some caution. Having legislation dictated from the top into an area such as this is a matter of some concern. The commonwealth is often good at the high-level policy bits, but delivering effective legislation for children and young people is a matter more appropriate to the states and the territories because it has that element of subsidiarity. I would hope we do not end up with a national approach at high-level legislation which may end up being poor legislation.

Of course, if the federal government want to make a contribution to the Children and Young People Act and its effective operation in the ACT, they have a large surplus, and I am sure that any government of whatever hue would welcome the initiatives in the areas of early intervention and child protection for the benefits of children and young people. But I hope that, as has happened with some of the other issues where the federal government has entered into forays in the past, they do not end up in the too-hard committees of COAG, like the binge drinking initiative did.

Ms Gallagher: Okay, back to the title.

MRS DUNNE: Children and young people are deeply affected by the processes in relation to binge drinking. In closing, I would like to pay testament to the, I suspect, tens, maybe hundreds, of people who have contributed to this, from the big picture people like the former Community Advocate—

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, give me a break; get back to the title.

MRS DUNNE: Heather Macgregor, who raised issues of concern some time ago—

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, this is about the title; this is not a wide-ranging debate about the rest of the bill. I think you have had a fair go.

MRS DUNNE: Okay, Mr Speaker. I commend members for the work that they have done on this bill.

Title agreed to.

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