THE safety of children in Leeton shire is at the front and centre of a new council policy.
Leeton Shire Council has introduced the plan, which is the first of its kind for the town, in a bid to show its commitment to keeping children safe in the area.
The policy includes a commitment statement to child safety and is a guide to elected members (such as councillors), workers (paid, contract and volunteer) on how to behave when interacting and engaging with children in the organisation to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
The NSW Children's Guardian Act 2019 came into effect on March 1 designating the Office of the Children's Guardian as the government entity responsible for ensuring children's safety and managing reportable conduct complaints.
Local government is identified in the act as a "relevant entity" charged with supporting a child safe culture, with mandatory reporting obligations and regulation of services provided to children.
The child safe standards apply to all activities or services where council employees, contractors or volunteers have contact with children.
Some examples include public pools, sport and recreational facilities/programs, library activities for children, childcare and out of school hours care and community events.
Leeton shire mayor Paul Maytom said having these kinds of policies in place was important not just here, but across the state.
"Council is pleased to adopt its child safe policy, which reflects (our) strong commitment to ensuring the safety of children and young people," councillor Maytom said.
Many of council's community programs regularly engage with young people in the community, meaning their safety and wellbeing should always be at the forefront.
Council said it will incrementally update related policies and will immediately update procedures relating to mandatory reporting and the implementation of working with children checks with a broader range of workers associated with its business.
You can view the policy here.