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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 2 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 477..


visited them recently, in the last month, to hear from them around what they are seeing. I think there is a level of concern and angst in the non-government sector about the level of demand that will be generated once the royal commission commences its hearings and stories are being told and being reported in the media, as that always does generate, I think, a level of anxiety for people that have previously come forward but also those that may not have come forward in the past. This is something we will keep our eye on.

The commonwealth has stated that additional funding will be available to support victims during the royal commission process. The royal commission has also said it will have resources available to support witnesses. We have a number of non-government organisations and, indeed, services like the AFP sexual assault and child abuse team here in the ACT. Of course, organisations like Lifeline, MensLine and the Service Assisting Male Survivors of Sexual Assault are all there and we will be watching and listening and hearing from them about what they are seeing. If there is any way that we can respond to meet that additional pressure, we will.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, how many instances of abuse have been reported, investigated or have occurred in any ACT government organisation, facility or service since 2001?

MS GALLAGHER: Here was the opportunity to provide a bit of information and Mr Smyth seeks to make it political. I think the implication is this: by 2001 how many people during this course of government, how many children during this course of government, have had complaints or concerns around sexual abuse raised? There would be some, Mr Smyth. There would be some.

Mr Hanson: There would be some.

MS GALLAGHER: Surprise, surprise, Mr Hanson. I do not carry that figure around in my head, either. This was serious question about a royal commission into institutionalised care and Mr Smyth chooses to make fun of it by trying to put the pressure on us about what has happened—

Mr Coe: Point of order.

MS GALLAGHER: since 2001. This is what we expect.

MADAM SPEAKER: Chief Minister, there is a point of order.

Mr Coe: Madam Speaker, I ask that you draw the Chief Minister's attention to the content of the reasonable question and ask that she be directly relevant.

MADAM SPEAKER: The question, Chief Minister, was about had there been any instances and can you answer whether there have been and how many. Could I request you to be directly to that? I think there is the point of order.


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