Page 5062 - Week 13 - Thursday, 29 November 2018

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The bill also amends the Education Act to implement a recommendation of the Report of the inquiry: review into the system level responses to family violence in the ACT by Laurie Glanfield and the findings of several other reports. Improved information sharing has repeatedly been identified as key to improving system collaboration to keep victims of child abuse and family violence safe.

In particular, the Glanfield inquiry recommended that information sharing measures be introduced to ensure that children at risk remain engaged with the education system. The bill introduces measures that will support this by allowing the director-general responsible for the education portfolio in the ACT to give limited information to another jurisdiction about a child or young person’s enrolment status in the ACT. If a child about whom a school has significant concerns is unenrolled from that school, the Glanfield inquiry recommended that their enrolment in another school be confirmed. This is currently possible for transfers within the ACT but not across state boundaries.

The government is committed to improving systemic protections for children and young people. In the education portfolio I have shown our commitment by leading among Australian jurisdictions to provide statutory arrangements that allow information sharing for this purpose.

The government also recognises that privacy is an important human right, as is respecting the evolving capacity of a child to express views and participate in decisions about their life. The information that can be shared with other states is very limited by the bill. In the first instance, the consent of a child or young person, if appropriate given their age and understanding, and the child’s parents or carers must be sought. However, the director-general may share information without consent in certain circumstances if it is not reasonable or practicable to gain consent or where the director-general reasonably believes that it is in the best interests of the safety and wellbeing of the child or young person to share that information.

Privacy is important but so is the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, their right to protection and their access to school education. The government considers these concerns sufficient to limit the right to privacy as proposed by the bill. The amendments in the Education (Child Safety) Legislation Amendment Bill take important steps in protecting ACT children and young people in education settings by making sure that only suitable people are registered to teach our children and by implementing the recommendations of key inquiries that relate to schools and people. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Lee) adjourned to the next sitting.

Controlled Sports Bill 2018

Ms Berry, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

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