Children and Young People (Safety) (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill

The Hon. R. SANDERSON (Adelaide—Minister for Child Protection) (19:56): I would like to first thank the member for Badcoe for her words and for her cooperation and understanding of the need that we have to get the bill through the house quickly, ready for 22 October for its full enactment. As noted, these changes really are rats and mice. It is drafting errors, improvements or transitional changes that are required for the bill to be workable and to protect our children in the way it was intended.

I note that there are changes that other stakeholders are keen to put forward. In opposition, I fought very hard for several changes, and I have resisted the temptation at this point to bring them forward because I understand the importance of getting the bill through by 22 October. I am also very aware that the strength of a bill is really only in the understanding of the front-line staff and the people who actually work with the bill. We have had about a year of training—or at least nine months of training—Department for Child Protection staff on the bill as it stands, so to add any extra amendments, whether they be my amendments or the amendments of external parties, just adds to the possibility of errors being made in this short time period.

I have made a commitment to all stakeholders and to the opposition. Let us have 12 months from 22 October during which time the staff and the department can work with this legislation. We can see how it runs and whether there are any errors or whether improvements can be made. I absolutely would like to have the best bill possible for the safety of our children. If there are better ways to do that, I will have no issue with making those changes as required.

Regarding the member for Badcoe's particular amendment that was presented today, I indicated to her that I do not have any particular opposition to it; however, between houses there will be time for the CE and the department to double-check whether there would be any complications. I believe that the regulations in full will be ready in the next few days. My department has indicated that they will brief you fully on those regulations as well, in case there are further changes or amendments that need to go through.

I think that on this occasion the member for Badcoe and I are at one that this is all about the safety of children in our state. It is about making sure the legislation that was drafted by the former government can be enacted and in the best way possible, so I thank her for her understanding and work in between the houses. I would also like to thank my staff, who have stayed late tonight and worked on this bill and also held all the briefings. I commend the bill to the house.