In what may seem like a case of déjà vu, the Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (Bill) was introduced into Parliament on 3rd December 2020 and subsequently referred to the Community Support and Services Committee for detailed consideration. The Committee is required to report back to Parliament by 12th February 2021.

As you may recall, the Bill was originally referred to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee prior to the dissolution of Parliament for the 2020 election. This Committee tabled its report on 28th August 2020, but the Bill lapsed before it could be debated in the House when Parliament was dissolved. While the Bill has now been referred to a different Committee, it remains unchanged from the original.

Arising out of recommendations made by Deputy State Coroner Bentley following the inquest into the death of Mason Jet Lee, the stated objectives of the Bill are to enhance the approach to permanency under the Child Protection Act 1999, clarify that adoption is an option for achieving permanency, and clarify the importance of and promote alternative permanency options for children subject to a child protection order granting long-term guardianship to the chief executive.

The Community Support and Services Committee has called for submissions to be lodged by 5pm Wednesday, 6th January 2021. The Committee has advised that if you or your organisation have already made a submission when the Bill was first considered, it is not necessary to make a further submission. However, if there is information you wish to add to your submission, you are encouraged to do so.

PeakCare fully expects that the debates generated by this Bill when it was first considered will be re-kindled and amplified the second time round. Click here to read the submissions that were originally lodged including PeakCare’s submission. For more evidence of the strongly held and divided opinions held about the use of adoption, read On the proposal to increase use of adoption through a new triage model with permanency order targets that was one of a series of reports on findings of a survey undertaken by PeakCare and the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP) about the Liberal National Party’s proposals for overhauling the child protection system.

PeakCare encourages our Members to actively and constructively contribute to the debates concerning this very important policy matter. The decisions made by Parliament will have a life-long impact on the lives of many children and their families. Make sure that the conclusions reached by you and your organisation are well-informed and researched.

Click here to find out more about the Bill and for instructions about how to make a submission.

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