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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 8 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2209..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

Director of Public Prosecutions and ACT Policing, providing a comprehensive review of current practices in investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases in the ACT.

The government strongly supports the establishment of the reference group, comprising high-level representation from ACT Policing, the DPP, the courts, the Victims of Crime Coordinator, the Office of Children, Youth and Family Services, the Department of Justice and Community Safety, ACT Health, the ACT Bar Association, the ACT Law Society, and the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre.

The report proposes many significant reforms, many with funding implications as well as legal and governance ones. I am relying on the reference group as a primary source of advice to develop a plan for implementation and to advise government on priority areas of reform to enhance the ACT's response to sexual assault victims. Notably, the outcomes and decisions arising from the reference group's deliberations will benefit not only sexual assault victims but also all victims of crime. An overall improved criminal justice response to victims is expected as a result.

I am confident that this government is committed to improving services to victims of crime and strengthening victim support in the ACT. This has been addressed by the developments that have already been instituted in relocating the VSS from the health sector to the criminal justice sector, the injection of new funding for services to victims of crime in 2007-08 and the establishment of the reference group to examine and implement the Responding to sexual assault report. Further progress and responses will occur as the reference group develops and implements a plan to enhance the criminal justice response to sexual assault victims.

There have been significant developments in the area of services to victims of crime since the standing committee's report in 2004, and this is the rationale behind the government's decision not to respond to that report.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Smyth ) agreed to:

That leave of absence be given to Mrs Dunne for this sitting.

Appropriation Bill 2007-2008

[Cognate paper:

Estimates 2007-2008—Select Committee report—government response]

Detail stage

Schedule 1—Appropriations.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.2—ACT Executive, $5,439,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $5,439,000.

Debate resumed.

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