Page 3800 - Week 10 - Thursday, 27 August 2009

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ACT’s practices in these areas. For example, the model legislation contains a provision which would allow a prosecution for an offence against the act to be commenced within two years after the alleged commission of the offence or, if two years has already elapsed, a further one year after a competent authority or an authorised person first obtained evidence of the commission of the alleged offence considered reasonably sufficient by the authority or person to warrant commencing proceedings.

However, the general limitation period for commencing prosecutions under section 192 of the Legislation Act 2001 has been followed. The general limitation period for the prosecution of an offence that is punishable by imprisonment for a period of not longer than six months imprisonment is one year after the day on which the offence was committed.

The bill is an important measure which will bring the ACT law for the transport of dangerous goods by road into line with international best practice standards. I commend the bill to members.

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

Adoption Amendment Bill 2009

Mr Barr, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Planning and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (11.13): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Earlier this year I said that my goals in the Children and Young People portfolio are practical. My goal is to help children and young people in all Canberra families—all kids, not just the hard cases or the teen prodigies—and to help the most vulnerable to help themselves. This is exactly what the Adoption Amendment Bill 2009 does.

This bill helps children and young people and their families, both adoptive and birth families. First, it makes the best interests of Canberra’s children and young people central in all decision making. Second, it helps families who open their homes to children and young people. Third, and just as importantly, it helps birth parents to build relationships with their children.

The ACT has a history of progressive public policy in this area. The principle of the best interests of the child underpins the Adoption Act 1993. The 1993 act included innovative “open” adoption provisions, such as rights to access information about a child’s origins and the Indigenous placement principle. The Adoption Amendment Bill 2009 builds on this child-centred approach. But this bill also recognises that the nature of adoption has changed significantly since 1993.

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