Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 November 2017) . . Page.. 4810 ..
In the ACT we are working to align our scheme as closely as possible with both the New South Wales and Victorian schemes. The royal commission has found systemic failings by institutions to prevent and report child abuse or neglect. By harmonising schemes and by sharing information between oversight bodies, based on the final recommendations of the royal commission, we will be better placed to stop abusers exploiting gaps and loopholes by moving from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Nationally consistent schemes will also help to restore public confidence in the organisations that we trust to look after children every day. The ACT will continue to lead collaboration at the national level on the development and implementation of a consistent scheme, so that we can better protect children across the country from the risk of abuse.
MS ORR: Chief Minister, is the government considering the need to expand the reportable conduct scheme to incorporate other entities and institutions?
MR BARR: I thank Ms Orr for the supplementary question. Yes, we are already working to assess how best to expand the scheme to capture more organisations. Our current scheme is deliberately similar to that in New South Wales in its coverage of organisations, many of which are religiously affiliated. These include schools, providers of childcare services, health services and out of home care services.
All funded activities that faith-based organisations currently operate, such as educational institutions and other services to children, are already within the scope of the scheme. But there is more that we can do. Today I announced the release of a discussion paper to expand the scheme to capture more organisations that have responsibility for children, and where there is potential for children to be at risk.
These include churches and parishes, some of which have already volunteered to join the scheme. We will consult with these organisations over coming weeks to make sure that they are able to comply with the requirements of the scheme. We will also need to take into account the royal commission’s anticipated specific recommendations relating to reportable conduct schemes.
A firm aim is to introduce further legislation to expand the scope of the scheme early in 2018. We need to keep moving while we wait for the release of the royal commission’s recommendations. There is much that we can do right now to have the strongest protections in place as quickly as possible.
MR WALL: My questions is to the Minister for Planning and Land Management. Minister, on 27 October 2017 you tabled a report on aluminium composite cladding advising that a desktop audit had been carried out on all ACT government schools. This desktop audit identified 46 school sites as having a building or buildings with some form of aluminium composite panels, with the type of cladding yet to be determined. How many schools have had aluminium composite panels added in