On 2 November 2017 the Chief Minister of the ACT Government presented the Reportable Conduct and Information Sharing Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 to the ACT Legislative Assembly which, was passed on 30 November 2017.
The Bill notified amendments to the ACT reportable conduct scheme including:
• an explicit requirement for entities to have practices and procedures to deal with
• reportable conduct and information handling
• allowing an entity to proactively share information with another entity
• clearer information sharing provisions between child protection and other oversight or
• regulatory bodies, and a broadening of the definition of employee, to include individuals within another entity
• providing services to children for a designated entity (i.e. the employee of a contracted firm) and
• changes to the scope of the health services sector covered by the scheme.
Further, in response to the recommendations contained in the final report of the Child Abuse Royal Commission, which was presented on 15 December 2017, the Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill (No 2) 2017 was introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly Parliament on 30 November 2017 to expand Grooming offences in the ACT.
Under the proposed ACT amendments Grooming would cover conduct:
• committed by a person, in person or ‘by any other means’ to encourage a young person to commit or take part in a sexual act
• with a young person with the intention of making it more likely that the young person would commit, take part in or watch someone else commit or take part in, an act of a sexual nature. Examples include requesting that a child take photos of themselves and provide them to the accused, and
• with a person who has a relationship with a young person with the intention of making it more likely that the young person would commit, take part in or watch someone else commit or take part in, an act of a sexual nature. Examples include encouraging an adult responsible for a child to leave the child alone with the accused.
IEU encourages members who are the subject of a ‘reportable conduct’ allegation or other work related allegations to immediately seek advice by contacting their IEU Organiser or myself, Russell Schokman, IEU Policy Advisor on 8202 8900 or the toll free number (for country members) 1800 467 943.