Page 4918 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 25 October 2011

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That is why, in addition to a $3.5 million facilities upgrade, we will make it easier for ovals to be utilised, through a reduction in fees and charges. But the $3.5 million for facilities upgrades, we are confident, will have a tangible impact on the accessibility of ovals for Canberra families. We are talking about areas such as the Jamison oval. We are talking about areas such as Phillip oval, which has not been renovated for years. We are talking about the Calwell district playing fields, which, as we all know, are one of the largest and most used sporting grounds in Canberra, home to a number of clubs. I believe hundreds, if not thousands, of people play there on any given Saturday.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne): Order! The time for the matter of public importance discussion has expired.

Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Bill 2010

[Cognate bill:

Working with Vulnerable People (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011]

Detail stage

Remainder of bill.

Debate resumed.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (4.32): The Greens will be supporting the government’s amendments to the working with vulnerable people bill. I will address in my speech the substance of the amendments; I know there has been some change in terms of how they have been moved, but I will talk to the substance of them in this speech.

I would like to acknowledge the work the directorate and the government have undertaken over the last few months to facilitate concerns and comments from parts of the community sector that could have been affected or most impacted by the legislation, particularly in the areas of drugs and alcohol and mental health and for staff and volunteers with lived experience.

The Greens support increasing protection for children and vulnerable adults by putting volunteers and staff through a more vigorous background check. We do not want to see situations where vulnerable children and adults are put at risk of abuse.

The development of the working with vulnerable people bill has been a difficult process. The Greens did not want to see a worker with lived experience who posed no risk to a vulnerable adult prevented from gaining registration. Often it is the case that workers with lived experience are more able to connect with a client because they have been through a similar situation themselves. We cannot undervalue peer support, as it is one of the most effective community service tools we have. The first draft of the working with vulnerable people bill did pose significant risks to people with lived experience and their ability to work with vulnerable adults. The Greens were not

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