Page 2608 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 21 September 2022

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Canberra Relief Network. I would also like to say thank you to Multicultural Hub Canberra and Companion House for their food relief support for the multicultural community. I would also like to say thank you to the many thousands of informal volunteers who helped out with mutual aid groups and organisations like Helping ACT, and local small businesses who made donations of food and support. What they have done has helped many thousands of households in Canberra, in addition to the more than 4,000 deliveries by the Canberra Relief Network to literally put food on the table when people were having a difficult time.

I would like to recognise that COVID-19 is not over for everyone. There are people with disability, older people in our community and carers, who are still having to stay in physical isolation to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19 and transmitting it to someone who may be most at risk from it. This is why it is so important that we continue to provide vaccinations and that antivirals are available for those people who are most at risk. It is also important that we continue to wear masks in crowded indoor situations where we are unable to distance from each other. If we can meet outdoors wherever possible and continue to support flexibility for working and studying from home, those people who are not able to go back into crowded indoor situations can continue to engage and not end up even more socially isolated. But, most significantly, it is important for all of us to be kind to each other and to think about the fact that not everyone is experiencing the same thing at the same time. Thank you.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Domestic Violence Agencies (Information Sharing) Amendment Bill 2022—consultation draft

Ministerial statement

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (10.23): I wish to provide a second update to the Assembly on work progressed on the Domestic Violence Agencies (Information Sharing) Amendment Bill 2022, which has occurred as part of the ACT government’s work to increase safety for people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic and family violence.

Development of the bill has progressed significantly since my last update to the Assembly. Before I update the Assembly on our progress and the next steps for consultation, I would like to speak briefly about why we are proposing an information-sharing framework for the ACT. We know that timely access to, and sharing of, information is critical to ensuring the safety of people experiencing family violence. The Domestic Violence Prevention Council review of domestic and family violence deaths in the ACT found that information was often seen in isolation by service providers and that information sharing was limited. In some of the cases reviewed, there were pieces of information available on the files of numerous service providers which, if viewed in isolation, did not indicate a risk of future violence or lethality; however, when these various pieces of information were put together, a different picture emerged, very clearly indicating a heightened risk of violence or lethality to victims.

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