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FAMILY LAW ACT 1975 - SECT 67ZA

Where member of the Court personnel, family counsellor, family dispute resolution practitioner or arbitrator suspects child abuse etc.

             (1)  This section applies to a person in the course of performing duties or functions, or exercising powers, as:

                     (a)  the Registrar or a Deputy Registrar of a Registry of the Family Court of Australia; or

                     (b)  the Registrar or a Deputy Registrar of the Family Court of Western Australia; or

                     (c)  a Registrar of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia; or

                     (d)  a family consultant; or

                     (e)  a family counsellor; or

                      (f)  a family dispute resolution practitioner; or

                     (g)  an arbitrator; or

                     (h)  a lawyer independently representing a child's interests.

             (2)  If the person has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a child has been abused, or is at risk of being abused, the person must, as soon as practicable, notify a prescribed child welfare authority of his or her suspicion and the basis for the suspicion.

             (3)  If the person has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a child:

                     (a)  has been ill treated, or is at risk of being ill treated; or

                     (b)  has been exposed or subjected, or is at risk of being exposed or subjected, to behaviour which psychologically harms the child;

the person may notify a prescribed child welfare authority of his or her suspicion and the basis for the suspicion.

Note:          The obligation under subsection (2) to notify a prescribed child welfare authority of a suspicion that a child has been abused or is at risk of being abused must be complied with, regardless of whether this subsection also applies to the same situation.

             (4)  The person need not notify a prescribed child welfare authority of his or her suspicion that a child has been abused, or is at risk of being abused, if the person knows that the authority has previously been notified about the abuse or risk under subsection (2) or subsection 67Z(3), but the person may notify the authority of his or her suspicion.

             (5)  If notice under this section is given orally, written notice confirming the oral notice is to be given to the prescribed child welfare authority as soon as practicable after the oral notice.

             (6)  If the person notifies a prescribed child welfare authority under this section or subsection 67Z(3), the person may make such disclosures of other information as the person reasonably believes are necessary to enable the authority to properly manage the matter the subject of the notification.



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