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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (23 October) . . Page.. 4098 ..


MS FITZHARRIS: As I say, it is the first I have learnt of this incident so I will take the question on notice.

Animals—dangerous dogs

MS LAWDER: My question is to the minister for transport and city services. Minister, Justice Mossop, in handing down his ruling on Meyers v Commissioner for Social Housing, stated:

In an urban community where crime rates are low, there is no reason why citizens need dogs that are of such a temperament as to represent a threat to the lives of other citizens.

Minister, how has the government responded to Justice Mossop's statements that Canberrans do not need dogs that are of such a temperament as to represent a threat to the lives of others?

MADAM SPEAKER: Just for clarification, I think that is to the Minister for City Services, not the minister for transport and city services. Mr Steel in response, please.

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. The government has undertaken an independent review of dog management in the ACT. The recommendations from that review are being implemented. That is our response.

MS LAWDER: Minister, why are dogs that attack, harass or are menacing towards people allowed to be rehomed or given back to their owner?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. DAS staff investigate dog attack incidents and make an assessment based on the behaviour of the dog. We have some real professionals in DAS. I visited them just the other week, talking to them about how they undertake those investigations and they do take into account all aspects of a dog attack, including whether there is provocation and a whole range of other matters relating to the dog's behaviour, to determine what should occur in relation to that dog.

MR COE: Minister, will you now strengthen dangerous dog legislation to address the issues raised by Justice Mossop, especially given your experience having visited DAS over in Symonston?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. We have some of the strongest dog laws in Australia here in the ACT as a result of the reforms that we as an Assembly instituted at the end of last year. We have just had a review into dog management from an expert panel that has provided us with recommendations. They have certainly recommended that the focus should be on responsible dog ownership. That is where we will be focusing our efforts in particular.

Health—bulk-billing

MS CODY: My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Minister, how is the ACT government encouraging GPs to increase bulk-billing rates in my electorate and in the ACT more broadly?


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