Page 2197 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2016

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(ii) what action, if any, it is taking to prioritise faster processing of local adoptions.”.

The amendment that was circulated referred to the last sitting day of March 2017, but my new amendment refers to February.

We would like to retain the thrust of Dr Bourke’s amendment. I think a task force is appropriate, but that it is perhaps at a lower level, not agency heads. It needs to be the people actually on the ground, who are trying to make adoptions happen. I think they are the ones who will understand where the blockages in the processes are.

As an aside, I could perhaps suggest that it is unfortunate that this cross-agency or cross-directorate collaboration has not already taken place. It is the government as a whole, and it is an unfortunate indication of perhaps a siloed approach if these agencies or directorates are not already appropriately engaging with each other to understand where there may be issues and to provide feedback as to where processes may be improved.

For example, the Community Services Directorate may fill out some paperwork and provide it to the ACT Government Solicitor. From what I hear from families, and it is part of an affidavit process, often that paperwork goes backwards and forwards between the directorate and the Government Solicitor. Are there improvements that can be made there? It is a pity that that work is not already taking place.

I support and welcome the minister’s suggestion that a cross-directorate task force be created and report back to the Assembly by the last sitting day of February 2017, but I would like to reinstate from my original motion that the ACT government come back to the Assembly on the last sitting day of August 2016, which is next week, and provide a detailed outline about what progress, if any, has been made since my original motion back in September last year. It has been nearly a year since that motion. The government assured me that they were taking steps both legislatively and otherwise to ensure that adoption took place in a timely manner where it was in the best interests of the child. I would appreciate it if the government could come back to the Assembly and provide the detail about what has taken place since that motion in September 2015.

Once again, I would like to thank Dr Bourke for his helpful suggestion in the amendment and to thank Mr Rattenbury for his helpful comments. I hope that the Assembly members will support my amendment to Dr Bourke’s amendment.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.25): May we divide the question?

Ordered that the amendment be divided.

Proposed paragraph 2(b) agreed to.

Question put:

That proposed paragraph 2(c) of Ms Lawder’s amended amendment be agreed to.

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