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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 8 Hansard (6 August) . .

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have been either supportive and seeking further clarification regarding certain sections of the bill or offering constructive feedback.

I welcome all responses from the community as the consultation period is designed to illicit exactly these thoughts. One clear practical consideration has been raised in regards to the capturing of visual data. The comments indicate that the current draft of the bill may have unnecessarily broad scope and implications for those who may genuinely seek to take images of the area for other purposes, such as photographing the sculpture adjunct to the entry. I appreciate the desire of supporters of the bill to ensure that we are offering the least restrictive approach as possible, and I will be reviewing these issues and all the other comments we receive as I finalise the bill for tabling in the Assembly in the coming months.

I close with a comment from someone who has recently written to me and who summarised the underlying rationale for this bill very effectively:

Democracy is not just about rights but also responsibilities, which includes I believe responsibility to contribute to a civil, respectful, cohesive society and do no harm to others. So while I welcome the right to protest and express opinions, this must be tempered by the respect for those on the other side of the fence, in this case women seeking/about to have an abortion. We do not know their stories. Intimidating, harassing, threatening, abusive behaviour, or filming and obstructing the path of these women outside clinics, at a very emotional and vulnerable time, is not respectful. Protesters should make their views felt to law and policy makers, politicians, media.

In advance of debating the bill later in the year, I invite all members to contact my office if they require further information, would like a detailed discussion or have comments to make on the content of the legislation for that matter. I look forward to tabling the final bill and to the Assembly implementing a regime that protects a woman's right to access health care privately, safely and without judgement.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

First Home Owner Grant Amendment Bill 2015

Debate resumed from 4 June 2015, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.10): The opposition will be supporting this bill. It is consistent with how we deal with the mechanism in which to change rates or numbers or fees or fines that are set. Most of them are now done by disallowable instrument, and this will extend that to the first home owners grant scheme. The real question is, as outlined on page 75 of budget paper 3, how the community will view the dropping of the grant from $12,500 to $10,000 on 1 January this year, and then $7,000 on 1 January 2017. But that debate may occur when the disallowable instrument is delivered.


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