Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 November 2017) . . Page.. 4920 ..
The bill also makes a number of technical amendments, including amending the definitions of “administrative entity” and “employee”. The bill also places a positive obligation on a head of entity to have systems in place preventing the commission of reportable conduct by an employee; enabling the notification of an allegation; investigating and responding to an allegation; and satisfying obligations for the receipt, handling and provision of reportable conduct information, including sensitive information.
In moving forward with changes to the reportable conduct scheme, the government will bring forward a second bill for introduction by April 2018 which will expand the scope of the scheme to include religious organisations that provide pastoral and religious instruction services. Currently religious organisations are only included in the scheme where they provide services to children such as, for example, through a childcare centre or a school. It is intended that religious organisations providing pastoral and religious instruction will be included in the scheme by 1 July 2018.
Yesterday I announced a consultation process to support policy development on how the scheme will apply to religious organisations. This consultation process will engage with religious organisations to understand their capacity to operate within the scheme. The ACT Ombudsman has also been provided with additional funding in the 2017-18 fiscal year to support religious organisations to prepare for the introduction of the scheme.
The government is also seeking community views on expanding the reportable conduct scheme to other organisations identified and examined by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that have been assessed as posing a high risk to vulnerable individuals. These include sporting facilities, organisations, Scouts and Girl Guides, instruction in a particular activity such as piano or swimming, and residential camps. These organisations have typically not been required to comply with child safety oversight and monitoring functions administered through or provided by government. As part of this process, the government welcomes community views on whether the scope of the reportable conduct scheme should be expanded to these organisations or whether other measures, monitoring or oversight would be more appropriate. I commend this important bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Ms Lawder) adjourned to the next sitting.
Racing (Greyhounds) Amendment Bill 2017
Mr Ramsay, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (2.55): I move: