Page 4863 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 25 October 2011

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Question so resolved in the negative.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Community Services, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Women and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs) (12.05), by leave: I move amendments Nos 1 to 18, 20, 22 to 27, 29 to 39, 41 to 46, 48 to 50, 52, 54, 56 and 58 to 78 circulated in my name together with a table and explanatory statement to the government amendments [see schedule 4 at page 4945].

This landmark legislation underlines the Labor government’s strong commitment to ensuring vulnerable adults and children are receiving the best care at all times and they are as safe as possible.

I would like to make some comments following Mrs Dunne’s motion to adjourn the debate and comments made earlier today. There was a late discussion with the Committee Office to ensure that all government amendments had been through scrutiny committees at some point in time. We needed to provide urgent advice to the Committee Office regarding a small number of minor technical amendments as outlined below. This has been an extremely complicated bill with multiple amendments arising over the course of the year.

Up until embargo yesterday, the directorate believed that all material embargoed was cleared for debate. An issue was not raised by the Secretariat until 8.45 this morning, and we have moved to rectify this as quickly as possible. I also understand that the committee is using this as an example, due to the complexity of such amendments, to talk to all Assembly liaison officers across government to ensure that appropriate processes are done in future for complex legislation.

The amendments were amendments 19, 21, 28, 40, 47, 51, 53, 55 and 57. The technical amendments related to working dates and were (a) changing from one month to 20 working days and (b) changing from 14 days to 10 working days. This change was made after the above first round of government amendments went to scrutiny committee for clearance prior to the debate first coming on in the March sitting and was a result of discussions with the ORS around their operational requirements. Unfortunately, they did not get back to the scrutiny committee with the latest round of government amendments provided around 14 October that were inadvertently missed during the timing of delay of the bill in March, so I do apologise to members here.

During the Assembly debate in March of this year, where in principle agreement to the bill was reached, I presented the definition of “vulnerable people” as being children under the age of 18 and adults who are experiencing disadvantage and as a result of that disadvantage are accessing activities or services, and I advised: that regulated activities are those activities or services that will attract background

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