Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 September 2017) . . Page.. 3975 ..
Children and young people—privacy provisions
MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Children and Youth. Minister, I refer to your statement last week that you are “not in a position to provide any information about the Bradyn Dillon matter” because of the “very strict privacy provisions under the Children and Young People Act”. I understand and respect these provisions. At the same time, Canberrans need to know what went wrong with this fundamental area of government. Minister, does information about specific actions taken by government agencies necessarily violate the privacy of protected individuals?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Kikkert for her question but I think I have been pretty clear that in regard to the questions that have been asked in relation to child protection and in relation to the Bradyn Dillon matter which, again, is a very tragic case—and I extend the government’s condolences to Bradyn’s mother and family—we cannot, in line with the privacy provisions in the Children and Young People Act, make any specific comment in relation to that matter.
Mrs Kikkert: On a point of order, the question was: do specific actions taken by government agencies necessarily violate the privacy of protected individuals?
MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Kikkert, the standing orders ask ministers to be relevant but they cannot direct the minister how to answer the question. If the minister has further information to add to the answer—she has time left—she may. She has answered your question.
MRS KIKKERT: Minister, when will the government release all information relating to the Bradyn Dillon matter that does not specifically violate privacy provisions?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I would note that any matter relating to child concern reports is considered to be sensitive information under the Children and Young People Act. That may be some additional information that is relevant to the broader context of Mrs Kikkert’s question. Mrs Kikkert is well aware that the tragic death of Bradyn Dillon was one of the incidents that resulted in the Glanfield inquiry being established. That inquiry report is public. It was released, along with a couple of other reports, and the government comprehensively responded to those three reports through the safer families package.
MRS DUNNE: Minister, what opportunities are there for the public to know that the government’s remedies are appropriate when you constantly refuse to provide any information at all about what went wrong?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Dunne for her supplementary question. As I have just said, the Glanfield inquiry was commissioned in part in response to this incident. The Glanfield inquiry examined very carefully the system-wide responses of the ACT government to family violence. The ACT government has responded with a very comprehensive package of support through the safer families package.