From child protection to biosecurity, from smoking laws to ICAC, it has been a busy year in the NSW Parliament. With 70 bills checked off the list to assent to the Governor since the election in March, we break down the key legislation in this three part series.
This week, we will have a look at the changes made to our child protection laws and criminal legislation.
Enhanced protection for our vulnerable children and young people will now occur under the Child Protection Legislation Amendment Bill. This bill ensures greater assessment of an adult’s suitability to be an adoptive parent, guardian or carer. It also ensures that all adults in residence with these people, as well as people who carry out child-related work, come under the same scrutiny.
Further to this, punishment for those who commit sexual offences against a child or young person has been increased. In order to allow vulnerable children or young people to give evidence in such cases without having to face their offenders, evidence can now be pre-recorded or given by distance communication.
Following the tragic death of two teenagers who were run over in a swag on a mate’s property, the Government has also amended legislation to allow people to be tested for drugs and alcohol following accidents on private property.
Reform in relation to firearms in NSW has also occurred. While the majority of legislation changes are in relation to the length of imprisonment for illegal gun use, it is now also illegal to posses the digital blueprints of a firearm. The legislation is designed to impede the manufacturing of guns with a 3D printer.
Another piece of interesting legislation concerns the smoking laws within NSW. It is now illegal to smoke in any outdoor, seated dining areas where food is present. Further to this, it is no longer legal to sell e-cigarettes to minors.
In the coming weeks we’ll provide the lowdown on the Biosecurity Bill, the Dams Safety Bill, the Jobs for NSW Bill and the Small Business Grants Bill. A further 71 bills are still up for debate in the NSW Parliament.