Page 1712 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 May 2017

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Earlier this year I tabled the committee’s review Retrospective progress in the ACT between 2004 and 2013. That review analysed the data for children and young people aged from 28 days up to 17 years during that period. The committee recommended actions to improve systems and culture for sharing information, in particular to protect vulnerable children and young people.

As well as covering the 2015-16 period the annual report provides an overview of data on the deaths of ACT children and young people over a five-year period, from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2016. The chapters in this year’s report cover a number of specific cohorts, including all children and young people who have died in the ACT over the 18-month period of the report or who normally reside in the ACT but died outside the ACT during this period; ACT residents over a five-year period; and two chapters on specific populations: neonates and infants, and vulnerable young people.

Sadly, children under one year of age comprise the largest number of deaths across age groups, accounting for 70.3 per cent of all deaths of children and young people for the five-year period. The leading causes of death for infants are medically related and include certain conditions originating in the perinatal period and chromosomal or congenital abnormalities. The main cause of death listed for infants who died in the first month of life was prematurity—more often than not, extreme prematurity.

Cases where the cause of death is unascertained continue to present a challenge for the committee, particularly those of young children. These deaths can be due to a range of actual causes, but there is insufficient evidence to make an accurate determination. During the five-year period there were nine incidents of death in infants where the cause could not be ascertained. The committee chair, Ms Margaret Carmody PSM, notes in her foreword to the report that the committee is currently conducting a more in-depth review of the deaths of children aged between 0 to 3 years, given the relatively high rates of mortality in this age group. The committee is seeking to identify and consider factors that increase the vulnerability of children and young people. I look forward to receiving the committee’s report in this review.

The death of any child or young person is devastating. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my condolences, and the condolences of this Assembly, to all families and friends affected by the death of a child or young person. I commend the ACT Children and Young People Death Review Committee annual report 2016 to the Assembly and thank the committee for their work over the past 18 months.


Mr Gentleman presented the following paper:

Legislation Act pursuant to section 64 Nature Conservation Act—Nature Conservation (Eastern Grey Kangaroo) Controlled Native Species Management Plan 2017—Disallowable Instrument DI2017-37, together with its explanatory statement (LR, 10 May 2017).

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