MPs urged to support laws banning excessive punishment
25 Oct 2000
Ms Calvert has urged all Parliamentarians to support the passage of the Bill, subject to the Committee's minor amendments.
The proposed Bill, introduced by the Hon Allan Corbett MLC, will help distinguish the difference between discipline and physical abuse.
"The Bill is sensible because it draws the line between physical punishment and excessive physical punishment that becomes abuse. It benefits both parents and children.
"The Bill means that parents are clear about what acceptable physical punishment is, and children are protected in law from the use of excessive physical force.
"All children need guidance and discipline. This Bill respects the rights of parents to guide and discipline their children and draws a reasonable line to protect children and young people from physical abuse," she said.
If the Bill is passed by Parliament, the Commissioner is keen for a community education campaign to help guide parents around the issue of disciplining children, as parents frequently identify this as one of the most stressful aspects of parenting.
The Bill proposes to amend the Crimes Act 1900, by articulating that punishment using physical force is not reasonable if:
- the force is applied with a stick or belt or other object (other than an open hand)
- the force is applied to a child's head or neck
- the force is applied to any part of the body in such a way as to cause, or threaten to cause harm to the child which lasts more than a short period.