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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1279 asked in the Legislative Council on 30 October 2019 by Hon Peter Collier

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 30 October 2019

WORKING WITH CHILDREN CHECKS — AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT

1279. Hon PETER COLLIER to the Leader of the House representing the Minister for Child Protection:

I refer to question without notice 1235 asked on Thursday, 24 October 2019.

(1) Of the 53 people who were found to be unsuitable to work with children, have any of the 53 either been charged with or found guilty of sex offences?

(2) If yes, how many of the 53 have been either charged with or found guilty of sex offences?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) Yes.

(2) Seven have either been charged or found guilty. To apply for a working with children check, a person must be in, or proposed to be in, child-related work. In most cases, a person can start child-related work while their application is being processed. However, a person is unable to work if they have committed a class 1 offence when they were an adult or have been issued with an interim negative notice. The Department of Communities receives 130 000 working with children check applications each year. The working with children check process does not include inquiring into how much child-related work the applicant has been engaged in to date.

The safety of children is of paramount consideration. Applications are prioritised according to risk. Interim negative notices are issued when the presenting information indicates there is an immediate and unacceptable risk of working prior to a final decision being reached.