The ACT Government has failed to act on repeated warnings over a three-year period that child abuse cases may be left unreported if psychologists are not made mandatory reporters.
Calls to make them mandatory reporters from the Health Services Commissioner in the latest annual report of the ACT Human Rights Commission were sparked by a case of child abuse allegations left unreported for a period in 2012-13.
Another case in 2010-11 provoked the original recommendation for legislation changes.
The Health Services Commissioner, Mary Durkin, said in the latest report that "no action had been taken to amend the legislation" yet, despite a case in the last reporting period "in which a psychologist failed to report child abuse allegations".
"The Commissioner and the Children and Young People Commissioner jointly wrote again to the Minister urging for an update to the legislation," Ms Durkin wrote.
She said the ACT government did respond in April last year, but since that time the recommendations were "still being considered".
In the particular case, she said "there was a time delay" before authorities became aware of the allegations because the psychologist they were seeing did not report the claims.
Ms Durkin said that in the case she "became concerned again that psychologists are not required to mandatory report".
"If mandatory reporting doesn't apply then people can tend to think, well I'll make up my own mind that that is a legitimate allegation or not," Ms Durkin said.
"Our view is that they should also be mandatory reporters because they are often providing psychological services to people in families where such allegations may be made."
When asked why the recommendations to make the change had not been carried out, ACT Minister for Children and Young People Mick Gentleman said the "safety and wellbeing of children is a community responsibility".
He said "section 354 of the Children and Young People Act 2008 allows for the voluntary reporting of child abuse and neglect. Any person can make a child concern report."
Mr Gentleman did not comment on whether legislation was likely to be changed.
"Whether or not someone is a mandatory reporter, it is incumbent upon the community as a whole, in particular those in positions of responsibility, to act appropriately in such circumstances," he said.
When asked whether he was aware of the case where child abuse allegations were left unreported for a period of time he said he was "unable to comment on individual cases".
Currently in the ACT, only some psychologists - such as those who work with children - are mandatory reporters.
All psychologists in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania are mandatory reporters of child abuse.