Page 1603 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 July 2020

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requirements. The improved ability to share relevant information appropriately and with government agencies outside the ACT will further strengthen our ability to care for the welfare of individual students and provide a safe educational environment.

The amendments in the Education Amendment Bill 2020 take important steps in protecting ACT children and young people in school education settings. Developed in consultation with key stakeholders and informed by their views, these amendments ensure that our most vulnerable students are protected, enable engagement in schools where it has not previously been possible, and ensure that all students have access to education in ACT government schools. The government has worked with non-government education stakeholders in the ACT who recognise that these amendments take reasonable steps to improve oversight and strengthen our ability to protect young students in the ACT.

Further phases of legislative reform will continue over time and be informed through consultation with key stakeholders, including non-government schools and education unions, in the same way as this bill has been presented today, in continued implementation of the future of education strategy. This government is committed to ensuring the protection of children and young people, and the bill makes our commitment clear. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Adoption Amendment Bill 2020

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

Title read by Clerk.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Children, Youth and Families and Minister for Health) (11.13): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce the Adoption Amendment Bill 2020. I should say at the outset that this bill relates only to domestic adoption; it does not relate to international adoption processes. Domestic adoption usually involves the adoption of a child by a carer or another person who is known to them.

In introducing this bill, I am conscious that there are many in the community for whom the discussion of adoption raises strong emotions: children and young people who have been or would like to be adopted; birth parents and their families and advocates; adoptive parents and those seeking to adopt; and families and communities whose lives have been affected by past practices of forced adoption. I want to start by thanking everyone who has shared their experiences and views with us as we have shaped this bill.

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