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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . .

Page.. 2435..


The bill also makes amendments to the Victims of Crime Act 1994 to increase the victim services levy to improve the capacity of the territory to support victims of crime under the recently introduced and improved victims of crime financial assistance scheme. The increase is from $40 to $50 when the bill commences and then to $60 from 1 July 2017.

I thank members for their support of the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Public Health Amendment Bill 2016

Debate resumed from 2 August 2016, on motion by Ms Fitzharris:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS JONES (Molonglo) (10.46): I stand today to speak to the Public Health Amendment Bill 2016. My understanding from reading the bill is that there are various internal changes being made about the way that we deal with properties that are a health risk to the public, particularly in relation to hoarding behaviours, and that in doing so the minister will determine the code of practice setting up the guidelines for the Chief Health Officer to deal with insanitary conditions that are caused by hoarding or domestic squalor.

It is important to be mindful of the fact that, in dealing with insanitary conditions, we are not just dealing with a person and their belongings; we are dealing sometimes with a type of mental condition or a mental illness. I hope that, as the minister makes decisions about determining a code of practice, it will be taken into account that some of those that we are dealing with may have complex mental states. I hope that our advice will be sought on how to deal with somebody with a mental illness that is manifesting in hoarding practices. We are happy to be part of that conversation.

The issue of hoarding is rather serious; however, not particularly widespread. I am aware, within my electorate, of approximately half a dozen properties that fall into the category of hoarding or domestic squalor. One property in particular is in McKail street in Stirling, where there is not actually a person residing in the property. However, we know there is an ACT resident who owns the property. We have written to the minister about it a number of times.

I would be more than happy to see a system which can deal with such blocks, because of the impact that they have on those around them. There is a property in Fisher heading in this direction, with dumped car parts, old furniture and general rubbish


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