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Children and Young People (Safety) Bill

Second Reading

Adjourned debate on second reading

(Continued from 18 May 2017)

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 17:27 :23 ): I rise to oppose the second reading of this bill. As my thoughts echo much of what the Hon. Tammy Franks has already said, I will keep it short. Several key stakeholders, including the AMA of South Australia, the Law Society and SACOSS, have expressed their concerns that the bill which is currently before the council will result in worse outcomes for child protection than what currently exists. I am certainly no child protection expert, therefore I rely on the comments made by those who are experienced in dealing with these matters.

The Select Committee on Statutory Child Protection and Care in South Australia, of which I am a member, recently handed down its report on this bill. The recommendation was that this bill should be considered in conjunction with a bill to replace or amend the Family and Community Services Act 1972. I support this recommendation. Whilst this bill deals with what will happen at the pointy end of the stick in terms of child protection, it is important that these measures are considered alongside what will happen before things become critical. I understand much of this is outlined in the Family and Community Services Act, and it makes sense that these two interrelated matters would be considered together.

Our state's record on child protection has been woefully inadequate in recent years. There is no doubt that we have let down not only the people of South Australia but especially the children of South Australia. They deserve better. This is our opportunity to get it right. I appreciate the government recognises that changes need to be made, but I would rather go back to the drawing board to get it right rather than rush something through which will have worse results for vulnerable children than what we have now. As such, I oppose the second reading.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins .