Page 2828 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 October 2022

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a distinction is currently made in the standards between the qualifications and experience needed to become an assessor. This bill updates the wording of the legislation to reflect this important distinction, in line with feedback received during initial consultations on the framework.

When this legislation was established in 2019, flexibility was given to allow for the differences between roles to be understood more clearly, in consultation with industry experts and through implementation, and this has since been done. It is now accepted practice that assessors have a higher standard than trainers alone, as these are the professionals who undertake the important task of testing and accrediting assistance animals under the current process. This is a complex role which involves working with individuals who suffer from a disability, in a high-stress testing environment. Standard procedure for processing registration applications from these professionals currently involves higher standards for those who wish to be registered both as a trainer and as an assessor, which reflects advice from industry experts. This bill clarifies this procedure by removing the potential for trainers to accredit assistance animals, aligning more closely with current practice. This amendment does not impact on any existing registrations, and the subordinate legislation relating to this process will be updated as part of this bill for consistency and further clarity.

Finally, a suite of technical amendments has been made to the Domestic Animals Act, the Animal Welfare Act and the Animal Welfare Regulation to update various headings and notes as part of ongoing efforts to ensure that our legislation remains clear, accurate and consistent with current standard drafting practice.

While minor and non-controversial, this bill is an essential step towards continuing to strengthen and back our essential operations and functions with legislation that is transparent and accurate. The animal welfare and responsible pet ownership policy area has been strengthened considerably in recent years, thanks to the high standards and expectations of the ACT community. This bill builds on these changes so that we can continue to progress as a leading jurisdiction for best practice animal management and welfare.I commend the bill to the Assembly

Debate (on motion by Ms Lawder) adjourned to the next sitting.

Sexual Assault Reform Legislation Amendment Bill 2022

Mr Rattenbury, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (11.58): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Sexual Assault Reform Legislation Amendment Bill to the Assembly today. The bill makes a number of important changes to ACT legislation

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