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Proposed Section 59 Provisions ‘Confusing’

20 November 2006

Proposed Section 59 Provisions ‘Confusing’ Says Public Health Association

The Public Health Association (PHA) has congratulated the Justice and Electoral Select Committee for recommending the removal of the existing section 59 of the Crimes Act, but says the new ‘Parental Control’ section is confusing.

“While the Committee is to be congratulated on its thoughtful consideration of this issue, it has missed the chance to send a simple and straightforward message that child assault is not acceptable,” PHA Director Dr Gay Keating said today.

“Instead, a confusing clause has been substituted that could make it difficult for parents to know where they stand.

“The wording of the new section is of concern, and we will have to wait and see whether the provisions can be used to justify hitting or beating a child as part of control.”

Dr Keating said that if it was necessary for protection to be put in place for parents who restrain or control their children, the wording used should be clear, not ambiguous and open to interpretation as at present.

The PHA would like to see the Bill get through its second reading, so more discussion can take place.

Ends

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