Schools, child care centres and health providers will be forced to report all child abuse allegations to the ACT Ombudsman from this Saturday.
However the ACT's new reportable conduct scheme does not cover church organisations, Scout groups, sporting clubs or dance schools, despite government officials telling the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse the scheme would need to be refined to meet community expectations as far back as March.
In launching the scheme on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry denied there were gaps in the law and said the most important aspect was its consistency with other states and territories.
Ms Berry said a review into the scheme would begin immediately to examine its effectiveness but any decision to extend it would take place after the Royal Commission handed down its final report in December.
"There's no point in having islands of safety in different states or territories for children. This is something that needs to be done federally and the ACT government has led the country in making sure there is consistency in supporting and protecting children who are vulnerable to the kinds of sexual assaults and abuse that have happened and been identified," Ms Berry said.
"It's a start for the ACT and the country to have some consistency in this and we'll very carefully monitor how the scheme goes after its implementation this Saturday and very carefully."
Damian De Marco, the child safety campaigner who was instrumental in bringing about the scheme, said it was critical the law was amended to take in religious institutions in particular.
"One of the things the royal commission identified is one of the biggest conflicts of interest is when adults have really strong affiliations to religions so [an extra layer of scrutiny] is very important particularly in those religious organisations where there still is almost no accountability for the leaders," Mr De Marco said.
"There needs to be accountability, there needs to be ramifications for people who choose not to protect children [and rather] protect their own institutions."
Under the scheme, employers must report allegations, offences or convictions related to children to the ACT Ombudsman within 30 days of learning about it.
They must investigate the allegations and provide a final report to the Ombudsman as well as reporting it, if necessary, to other bodies including ACT Policing and Child and Youth Protective Services.
Employers under the scheme include all ACT Government Directorates; health service providers; kinship and foster care; residential care organisations; government and non-government schools; child care services; and education and care service providers, such as after school care.
The scheme does not cover sporting clubs, religious organisations, Scouts and Girl Guides, universities or swimming or dance academies.
The executive director of strategic policy and cabinet in the Chief Minister's directorate Geoffrey Rutledge later told the royal commission: "The Chief Minister has agreed that we will need to refine the scheme into the future so that it meets both those calls but also the community expectation."
Mr De Marco said the scheme was important as it removed the conflict of interest. It also removed the possibility for reports to be "shelved" or swept under the rug, he said.
He said he would like blanket mandatory reporting laws for all Australian adults but this was a good first step.
"Paedophiles groom children for a long time and almost always there are signs that things aren't right and it's those signs [that] are reported to people in positions of superiority and it's those adults which face conflicts of interest, be it misguided loyalties to their religion or towards their colleagues and that's where we've had the failings," Mr De Marco said.