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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 4087..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

remedies possible and that would be utilised. Even though the use of these remedies is a possibility, the system will readily be able to provide for them.

Just before concluding, I want to point out that the shadow attorney did refer earlier to the government's response to the scrutiny of bills committee report in relation to this legislation. I might just say it was a response to a committee report that the government did not willingly accept, to the extent that the report was very much tailored to what we took to be something of a misunderstanding by the scrutiny of bills committee of the process adopted by the government.

The scrutiny of bills report was very much focused on the issues paper rather than on the legislation. The government's position, as expressed through our response to that, was very much one of some of surprise that the scrutiny of bills committee had not seen fit to focus on the operation of the legislation at all but very much on the issues paper. I think we need to draw to the attention of the committee the extent to which it, I think, completely missed its terms of reference or its brief in relation to this particular piece of legislation.

MR STEFANIAK (6.11): Briefly: one, I do not agree with the Attorney in relation to the scrutiny of bills committee. I think it is doing its job. Perhaps he misses the point. I take on board what he says about pages 2 onwards, though, and thank him for that.

I accept that the government is taking a careful approach to domestic violence in relation to this scheme. I can actually see significant potential, especially for young offenders, from its being included in the scheme. Accordingly, the opposition will not be supporting the amendments by Ms Tucker. I think she misses the point there.

In regard to a lot of what the attorney says, certainly in relation to the issue before the Assembly of domestic violence, I would have to say, in the immortal words of Justice McTiernan, "I concur with what he said."

MS TUCKER (6.12): Just briefly: I think I need to repeat this. I have already said it but I just want to make the point, responding to Mr Stanhope, that the Domestic Violence Prevention Council, which he quoted, did say in its submission that in relation to adult DV offenders:

Restorative justice approaches should only be used at any stage in a heavily resourced and carefully planned system.

I think I need to make the point again that of course we acknowledge that there is a review-and I have acknowledged that-but the point is, with our amendment, we actually have the opportunity to stop at that point, look at the review, look at what came out of it and look at the resource capability to deal with using conferences in domestic violence and sexual assault.

It is absolutely critical to understand that we have a properly resourced response here, but there is no guarantee. You cannot give me a guarantee today that you are going to have that well resourced. This gives the Assembly of the time an opportunity to look at the resource implications for doing this properly, as the Domestic Violence Prevention Council said. By having that phase 2, just the check inserted into the process, it is not


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