On Tuesday 28 March 2017, the government filed amendments to the Children and Young People (Safety) Bill 2017, which is currently before Parliament.
The changes respond to consultation held with key groups in the child protection sector, following the Bill’s introduction in February 2017. The government has worked closely with these groups to discuss their concerns and further refine the Bill. The amendments will help clarify and expand on measures within the Bill, ensuring the legislation provides robust protection for the state’s most vulnerable children and young people.
A consultation summary has been prepared, outlining the proposed amendments.
Some of the key changes include:
- explicit mention of female genital mutilation within the definition of “at risk” to invoke the powers and functions of the Act
- amendments to the reversal of the onus of proof provision
- removal of the provision regarding civil liability immunity for the Crown, minister and the department
- removal of provisions in the Bill’s Aboriginal Placement Principles that were causing concerns for the community
- re-instating the chief executive as having power to direct parents to undergo drug and alcohol assessments, rather than the courts.
The new proposed laws will replace the current Children’s Protection Act 1993, as part of the government’s commitment to large-scale reform of the child protection system.
Original bill introduced on 14 February 2017