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Report Details

Committee Name:

Legislation Committee (1989 - 2001)


Legislative Council
Report Type:Report


Child Welfare Amendment Bill 1998
Report No:54
No of Pages:89
Physical Location:Legislative Council Committee Office

Presentation Date:


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Hide details for Executive SummaryExecutive Summary

The Child Welfare Amendment Bill 1998 (“Bill”) amends the Child Welfare Act 1947 and consequentially amends the Freedom of Information Act 1992, Spent Convictions Act 1988 and Young Offenders Act 1994.

On May 23 2000, the Legislative Council referred the Bill to the Committee for consideration and report by August 31 2000. Following prorogation of Parliament, whereupon the Bill and consequently the referral to this Committee lapsed, the Bill was referred again on September 5 2000.

The purpose of the Bill is to regulate the operation of the Child Protection Services Register. The register is the formal mechanism to improve co-ordination and co-operation across Government agencies in the area of child welfare.

The Committee resolved to concentrate on relevant areas of interest raised in the second reading debate in the Legislative Council, the debate on the motion to refer the Bill to the Committee, and as raised by witnesses to the Committee. These were:

the definition of “approved person” in proposed section 120A of the Bill;
the definition of “reporting agency” in ## 120A of the Bill;
the appointment, powers and accountability of the manager of the register;
the security of information on the register;
rights of removal of information contained on the register;
any deterrence to children in reporting maltreatment due to the reporting requirements;
the impact of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;
proposed amendments to the Freedom of Information Act 1992;
natural justice considerations;
appeals; and
evaluation of the register.

In summary the Bill allows for interagency co-operation in dealing with child protection matters. Generally the Committee believes that interagency co-operation should be encouraged so long as appropriate safeguards are in place for the secure passage of confidential information between agencies and individuals within those agencies.

The Committee has recommended a number of amendments to the Bill and these are summarised in Chapter 2.