ACT politicians set for showdown over child protection

The ACT's local political players are set to be tested on their dedication to child protection and freedom on information on two key fronts during Legislative Assembly sittings this week.

Among the business legislators will have to debate are a controversial government that seeks to exempt all ACT child protection reports from the Freedom of Information Act.

And the Labor government and Greens will also have to confront Opposition calls for an inquiry into a five-year long child protection case, involving an overturned decision to remove five indigenous children from their mother's custody.

Other issues before the chamber including the passage of the government's compulsory third party insurance scheme overhaul, youth justice reform report and animal welfare reforms.

Senior ACT lawyers have repeatedly raised concerns about both the case and the government's proposed legislative changes, which could see people involved in child protection cases unable to access information about themselves from authorities.

The information law changes could stop people accessing child protection reports and other case information about themselves and their family history, in a move widely panned by lawyers, indigenous service providers and former territory politicians.

It comes as Opposition MLA Elizabeth Kikkert looks to establish an Assembly inquiry into the controversial court case - many details of which have not been made public by authorities, or not reported to protect the family.

ACT Law Society president Chris Donohoe on Monday said he had written to all parties in the past week again to abandon the information law changes, and establish a further Assembly inquiry into the secrecy of the ACT's child protection system.

But it seems the legal professions repeated calls, including from senior barrister Philip Walker SC, fell on deaf ears in Cabinet.

The government claims the changes were needed to balance an individual's right to privacy with the right to access information, though it not explained why it was needed, given the existing laws provide for such decisions already.

The issues will come to a head during a vote in the Assembly, after both the Opposition and The Greens have spent years defending greater transparency across the government, with child protection being a long-term policy sore for Labor.

The Greens were still considering their position on the issue on Monday, while the Opposition did not respond to requests for comment.

Child protection and compulsory third party insurance will be debated this week.

Child protection and compulsory third party insurance will be debated this week.

Both Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay, and his Labor colleague, Children's Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith, have refused to amend the bill to allow further scrutiny of the legislation.

That move has angered many in the legal profession, particularly given the changes were proposed as part of a government legal omnibus bill generally meant for minor change.

Beyond the child protection issues, the biggest legislation on the agenda will be the government's compulsory third party insurance scheme reforms.

The government is expected to concede some minor issues in the proposals to the legal profession, while the Opposition is understood to plan up to 100 amendments to the bill.

City Services Minister Chris Steel will also release a final government version of a wide-ranging bill to reform animal welfare, and increase fines for people violent to pets.

The Greens are also expected to argue for a motion in the Assembly declaring the ACT in a climate emergency.

Greens leader and Climate Change Minister Shane Rattenbury is also to expected to unveils legislation to set the ACT's 100 per cent renewable energy target in perpetuity.

The legislation would aim to make the current 2020 target permanent, beyond the end of the current renewable electricity deeds, which expire in the 2030s.

Children's Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith will also update the Assembly on a long-term youth justice reform.