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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 4 Hansard (17 March) . . Page.. 1161..


Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (12.23): I seek leave to move together amendments Nos 1 and 2 circulated in my name.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: I move amendments Nos 1 and 2 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 1225].

The first amendment is about the removal from clause 8, which relates to proposed new section 9 (1) (a), of the words "or personal"from the reference to causing physical or personal injury to a relevant person. The second amendment deletes the provision that personal injury includes nervous shock.

Mr Speaker, in speaking to the amendments, I heard with interest and noted what the Attorney-General said in his speech in reply. Currently, domestic violence is defined in the Protection Orders Act as follows:

(1) For this Act, a person's behaviour is domestic violence if it-

(a) causes physical injury to a relevant person; or

(b) causes damage to the property of a relevant person; or

(c) is directed at a relevant person and is a domestic violence offence; or

(d) is a threat, made to a relevant person, to do anything in relation to the relevant person or another relevant person that, if done, would fall under paragraph (a), (b) or (c); or

(e) is harassing or offensive towards a relevant person.

Clause 8 changes that by adding "or personal injury", which is defined as including nervous shock, and two new provisions, paragraphs (f) and (g), which we have absolutely no problem with, in relation to threats directed at a pet of a relevant person and threatening violence against animals.

The scrutiny of bills committee stated in its report:

The basic element of the scheme is found in section 8 (1) of the Protection Orders Act 2001:

A person may apply under this Act for an order to protect an aggrieved person from domestic violence or personal violence by someone else (the respondent).

In clause 8, the Bill aims to broaden the scope of application of the scheme by amendment to certain key definitions. The Explanatory Statement states in relation to clause 8:

Clause 8 ... recognises that a person's behaviour will be domestic violence if it causes personal injury, and not just physical injury, to someone. This provision reflects the realisation of mental injury as a domestic violence crime. The recognition of a wider range of harm associated with domestic violence is


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