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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3132..


MR OSBORNE (continuing):

and in control of your phone. The only way to avoid the stalker is to disconnect the phone number completely, and then reconnect with an entirely new number.

I have seen Ms Tucker's amendments. I will speak to them during the detail stage, hopefully later today. We have some amendments also. I concede that one area of defence we need to address is contained in Ms Tucker's amendments, but I will be moving amendments myself. One of the defences that Ms Tucker talked about was that the person who sent material genuinely thought that the person to whom they sent it was over the age of 16.

I thank members for their support. This is obviously a new frontier for us all. It is an area of concern and an area we need to focus law enforcement on. Regardless of whether we think it is a problem or not, there are people who cruise chat rooms. During the tabling of my bill, I spoke of the survey that we had done at a high school. It is quite clear that we need to focus attention on this.

I am ready to concede that the legislation will be hard to enforce. It is a difficult issue. I have met with the AFP, Mr Murray and the sexual assault unit on this issue, and this issue is being taken up on a national level. Jurisdictions across the country have specific police task forces that focus entirely on predators in chat rooms and on the Net. As I said, this is new ground for us. Regardless of that, we need to start moving towards a system that enables us to adequately prosecute offenders and adequately protect our children. I thank members for their support, and hopefully we can get back to this bill later today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clause 1.

Debate (on motion by Mr Osborne ) adjourned to a later hour.

Primary schools -tender for health and fitness assessment program

MS TUCKER (11.27): I move the motion standing in my name on the notice paper relating to the tender for the health and fitness assessment program for primary schools, which reads:

(1) That the Minister for Education ensure the withdrawal of the request for tender for the provision of a health and fitness assessment program for ACT government primary school students; and

(2) That the ACT Government set up a working party including key stakeholder groups to:

determine the principles and parameters of a health and fitness assessment program for ACT government primary school students;

ensure such a program is consistent with the Health Promoting Schools program;


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