Children’s Guardian Bill 2019
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Children’s Guardian Bill 2019


And I call the member for Charlestown Thank you madam acting speaker I also rise today to speak on my children’s guardian bill as a member of the Parliamentary Committee on children young people I note the minister’s view that this bill is aimed at protecting the safety and well-being of children by creating a new Act which consolidates the children’s guardians powers functions and Responsibilities into one piece of legislation. I will support any legislation that will strengthen and streamline laws in relation to protecting our children The protection of children is an issue Which I’m sure every person in this place feels strongly about a child safety is paramount and I’m sure that every one of us Want to make sure that we do everything in our power to give young people the best possible start in life the office of a children’s guardian was established under the children and young person’s care and protection act in 1998 to promote the interests and rights of children and young people living in out of home care in 2013 legislative changes expanded the role of the office to be an independent Government agency that works to protect children by promoting and regulating quality child safe organizations and services the key aspects of this guard children’s Guardians bill include moving the children’s Guardians adoption functions and its children’s employment functions and responsibilities regarding accreditation monitoring and registration of out of home care into a standalone bill it Transfers the responsibility for the official visitors scheme in relation to children from the Ombudsman to the children’s guardian it transfers functions as a reportable conduct scheme from the Ombudsman’s office to the office of the children’s guardian and It makes changes to the reportable conduct scheme consistent with Royal Commission recommendations to go to harmonizing reportable conduct schemes nationally the bill extends the reportable conduct scheme to cover the outside work conduct of employees of public authorities including local councils Employers which are required to or do hold or working with children check Volunteers in public or we deliver services to children will also have their outside work conduct covered The amendments also extend the scheme to cover the inside and outside work of contractors and subcontractors Of all entities if they hold or should hold are working with children check the bill also extends the reportable conduct scheme to consistently cover religious bodies and It imposes a statutory obligation on agencies to investigate allegations of reportable conduct prescribing a notification timeframe of Seven days and 30 days. I Particularly wanted to contribute to the debate on this bill due to my role as a member of the Parliament’s Joint Committee on children And young people the committee Provides an oversight role for both the advocate for children and young people and the children’s Guardian in relation to working with children checks functions the functions of a committee are currently Legislated as being to monitor and review the exercise of the children’s Guardian functions under the child protection working with children Act To report to both houses of parliament with such comments as that things fit on any matter relating to the exercise of a children’s Guardians functions under the patrol protection working with children act to which in the opinion of the Joint Committee the attention of Parliament should be directed and The legislation currently says nothing in this part oughta rises the parliamentary joint committee to investigate a matter relating to particular conduct in schedule 5 the bill before us clarifies Just what the Joint Committee can and cannot investigate the bill says that nothing in this part Authorizes the parliamentary joint committee to investigate a matter relating to particular conduct Including conduct under part 4 of the children’s guardians act or to review a decision to investigate Not to investigate or to discontinue investigation of a particular matter or to review the findings recommendations or other decisions of the children’s Guardian in relation to a particular matter and I wanted to bring this Claire vacation to the attention of members and also to have it noted on hand side And thank you hands up Because occasionally committee members the rivers that receive representations from members of the community Who want the committee to take an investigative role into decisions made by the children’s Guardian? this bill makes it clear that the committee does not have the authority to undertake an investigation or review a decision of the children’s guardian This remains the purview of the New South Wales still Administrative Tribunal and I am certainly of the view that is right that the committee for children young people at least Certainly in its current form should not get into Determining the merits of a particular decision of the children’s guardian. So the clarification that the bill provides In relation to the committee. I think it is sensible and It is proper manner madam Speaker this bill is aimed at improving the independence of the children’s Guardians regula to drol to ensure that the protection of our children from abuse is a priority Overall, it’s a sensible and worthwhile bill and as such I’ll not be opposing it

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