ADDITIONAL COMMENTS BY
The proposed National Children's Commissioner represents a potentially
valuable resource in efforts to improve services and protection for children,
particularly vulnerable children. However, Coalition Senators see benefit in a
National Children's Commissioner only if such a position complements and
supports the work of state and territory children's commissioners.
By necessity, the work of state and territory commissioners focuses on
the needs of individual children who are at risk. The position of a national
Commissioner, with the ability to address systemic factors affecting the
welfare of children and to conduct research of national relevance, should be
supportive of work going on in each state and territory. Considerable care
will, however, need to be exercised by the National Commissioner to achieve
this outcome, noting that all of the state and territory commissioners do
presently have responsibilities to consider and make recommendations about
systemic issues within their jurisdictions.
Coalition Senators recognise that much of the success or failure of the
National Commissioner role will depend on the approach taken by its incumbent,
and the extent to which that person is able to engineer effective outcomes in
cooperation with colleagues working in the second tier of Australian
With this caution, Coalition Senators support the Bill.
|Senator Gary Humphries
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