Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 2 Hansard (18 February) . .
From our reading of this bill and from the explanatory statement, as well as the briefings that the minister's office gave Mr Hanson's office and stakeholders, we acknowledge that this bill seeks to redress some operational issues that have come to light from the introduction of the special interim domestic violence order scheme passed in October last year.
It would, perhaps, have been preferable that these matters were fully considered and canvassed prior to the passage of the original bill. However, it is true that some things only come to light once a new regime is put in place and tried in an operational sense. As this bill has come forward to fix up some of those deficiencies, that is a good thing. It is also true that if we are to pass the scheme then we must pass any amending legislation which seeks to put into effect the intent and purpose of the primary legislation, no matter when these operational issues become apparent. This is what this bill does.
There are some issues surrounding the limitations this scheme places upon the human rights obligations, but those concerns are addressed in the explanatory statement. Furthermore, the amendments in this bill are operational and do not traverse human rights considerations any further than the original bill, which has been assessed as compatible and reasonable with the Human Rights Act.
While there are quite a few amendments in this bill, they are, as the explanatory statement notes:
... procedural or administrative in nature. They do not alter the substantive methods, considerations or conditions involved in protection orders. The amendments ensure consistency with current general interim order procedures.
We supported the introduction and operation of the original bill, and we will support this bill to make sure that this scheme runs as well as possible. While all the technical issues are considered, the most important consideration of all is the protection of vulnerable women in our society and the prevention of those terrible outcomes we all dread. We say these words when the events of the last couple of days in Gungahlin are well and truly in our minds. Therefore, we will support this bill.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Capital Metro, Minister for Health, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Climate Change) (4.28), in reply: I thank members for their support of this bill. The Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Amendment Bill implements urgent technical amendments to streamline the operation of the Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Act 2008 and the Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Regulation 2009 and to support agencies in implementing the special interim domestic violence order scheme.
Preventing domestic and family violence is and continues to be a high priority for the government, as I know it is for this Assembly. We are working very closely with the Domestic Violence Prevention Council and other key government and community organisations to better respond to domestic and family violence, including sexual assault, here in the ACT.
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