Page 518 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 10 February 2009

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commencing the work required for implementation, it became evident that amendments were necessary to the definition of employment. Our reforms will ensure it captures the full range of employment undertaken by children and young people.

The work concerning these changes and the development of regulations and standards will be undertaken in consultation with the business and youth sector by July 2009. The employment provisions in chapter 10 of the Children and Young People Act continue to apply for young people to develop their skills and undertake work experience.

Government action is also needed to reform the Adoption Act, which has become outdated. When first enacted, it was viewed as progressive legislation. Since that time, there have been a number of developments which have provided impetus for the act to be reviewed so that it remains consistent with other legislation and in keeping with best practice.

The developments include the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption, enactment of the ACT Human Rights Act and the Children and Young People Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

A review of the Adoption Act commenced in 2006. Community consultation was guided by the discussion paper entitled “A Better System For Children Without Parents To Care For Them.” The consultation outcomes were documented in the 2007 report on key findings from the review of the Adoption Act.

The review and consultation process identified a number of issues requiring the consideration of government. Proposed changes to the act will ensure that it is consistent with best practice, focused on the best interests of the child and is compliant with the ACT Human Rights Act.

Transport safety is also a focus of the government to ensure that our laws are consistent with nationally agreed standards. National model legislation developed by the National Transport Commission will be adopted for the safe and secure transportation of goods. At present, the transportation of dangerous good within the territory is regulated by commonwealth legislation, but the commonwealth signalled its intention to repeal this law in 2009.

Separate legislation will be proposed to provide a consistent and best practice national legislation scheme to provide for improved compliance and enforcement of the road transport laws for heavy vehicles.

Finally, in relation to new legislation for the autumn sittings, follow up is to be taken on the problem of abandoned shopping trolleys which are polluting urban areas, parks, lakes and waterways throughout the ACT. The government is responding to public complaints regarding this issue. Legislation will be presented to maximise the removal of abandoned trolleys from public lands in as tight a time frame as possible.

Madam Assistant Speaker, these are just some of our intended initiatives. They reflect the government’s priorities for meeting the challenges we face now and into the future and for improving Canberra and the community. I commend the autumn 2009 legislation to the Assembly.

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