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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 26 August 2010) . . Page.. 4124 ..

This amendment completes a bureaucratic process that should have been completed in the drafting of this bill. Under the bill, a police officer can issue a caution to a child or young person if the person is found to have committed a range of offences. The police officer must give copies of the caution to the child or young person, a person with parental responsibilities for the child or young person, the chief executive of the office of children and young people, if the child or young person is in the care of the chief executive, and to the licensing commissioner.

The chief police officer can revoke the caution if satisfied that the police officer who issued the caution did not act in accordance with the legislation requirements for issuing the caution. In that case, the chief police officer must destroy the copy of the caution held by police and must tell the child or young person, the children and young people’s chief executive officer and the commissioner that the caution has been revoked.

However, there is no requirement for the chief executive or the commissioner to destroy their copies of the caution. This creates the potential for a child or young person’s record to be misrepresented at a future time by the chief executive or the commissioner. This, of course, could be inadvertent, but it relies heavily on the efficiency of relevant agencies’ record-keeping practices. If, for some example, the caution had been put onto a child or young person’s file but the revocation notice was not, the child or young person’s file could carry an incomplete and incorrect record of the child or young person’s behaviour.

This amendment seeks to minimise any such possibility by making it a legislative requirement that all copies of a revoked caution are destroyed, including those held by the chief executive of the Office of Children, Youth and Family Support and by the commissioner. I commend this amendment, which brings fairness to young people, to the Assembly.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (6.46): The government will not be supporting this amendment. Mrs Dunne’s amendment is not consistent with arrangements made in the territory under the Territory Records Act 2002, arrangements that exist to ensure the accountability and transparency of government in the conduct of its operations.

This act provides explicit direction to government agencies on the manner in which territory records must be managed. The Territory Records Act 2002 clearly states at section 23 that an agency must not dispose of or damage a record outside of arrangements specified in the act. Unless a contrary intention is expressly provided for, this section of the Territory Records Act prevails over legislation commencing after the Territory Records Act. Similarly, the Children and Young People Act 2008 sets out strict requirements for the handling of information relating to children and young people.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (6.47): The Greens will not be supporting this amendment. The government has advised my office that there are difficulties in directing a commissioner or a chief executive to destroy records, as the amendment

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