Child Safe Standards continue to languish in Cabinet limbo


The Canberra Liberals have expressed concern in today’s Estimates Hearings regarding the Labor-Greens government’s continued inaction on Child Safe Standards.

Shadow Attorney-General Peter Cain asked a number of questions of the Minister for Human Rights about the delayed implementation of one of the key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“The Child Safe Standards have been locked in political purgatory by this Labor-Greens government to the detriment of Canberra’s families, children and young people,” Mr Cain said.

“The Labor-Greens government first announced their intention to regulate Child Safe Standards in the ACT in October 2019 – almost three years ago.

"Since then, the Human Rights Commission believed the process “has taken somewhat longer than what we would have liked” and reiterated the Commission’s support for the regulatory framework and the statutory arrangement required to progress the introduction of Child Safe Standards in the ACT.

“The ACT has already fallen behind New South Wales and Victoria on this issue.

“There remains no regulatory framework requiring organisations to comply with Child Safe Standards. Nor is there a statutory arrangement, or budget, for the Human Rights Commission to have oversight of the Child Safe Standards.

“First, the government said in November 2019 that a decision on the Child Safe Standards would be made in 2020. Then, they announced in March 2021 that a bill would be scheduled by the end of 2021.

“In today’s hearing, the Minister clarified that that legislation regulating the Child Safe Standards will be introduced by the second half of 2023.

“Families, children and young people in the ACT deserve better than the broken promises of this Labor-Greens government,” Mr Cain concluded.