Australian Capital Territory Current Acts

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Neglect etc of children

    (1)     A person must not—

        (a)     ill-treat or abuse a child who is in the person's care; or

        (b)     neglect a child for whom he or she is caring or has parental responsibility.

Maximum penalty: 200 penalty units, imprisonment for 2 years or both.

    (2)     A person is not guilty of an offence referred to in subsection (1) (b) by reason only of failing to provide a thing for a child if the person did not provide the thing because he or she could not afford to do so.

    (3)     A person must not, knowingly or recklessly, leave a child unattended in such circumstances and for such a time that the child could suffer injury or sickness or otherwise be in danger.

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units, imprisonment for 1 year or both.

    (4)     A police officer, medical practitioner or director-general responsible for the Children and Young People Act 2008

may act (including by entering any building, place or vehicle, with such force that is necessary and reasonable) if the police officer, medical practitioner or director-general reasonably believes—

        (a)     that a child is being or has been ill-treated, abused or neglected as mentioned in subsection (1) or left unattended as mentioned in subsection (3); and

        (b)     that it is necessary to act immediately to safeguard the child.

    (5)     An action does not lie against a person by reason of the person having acted under subsection (4) in good faith, without negligence and with reasonable care in the circumstances.

    (6)     In this section:

"parental responsibility", for a child, means all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority parents ordinarily have by law in relation to their children.

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