Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 13 October 2022) . . Page.. 3117 ..
including additional resourcing to support the Discrimination, Health Services, Disability and Community Services Commissioner provided in the 2021‐22 budget.
Human rights are of course essential for everyone in the ACT, regardless of gender, religious belief, nationality, race or any other point of difference This budget invests in the promotion and protection of our human rights. Madam Speaker, could I just do a quick shout-out to all of those involved in upholding and promoting our human rights. This is an obligation that is held right across the ACT government, but I make particular mention of the Human Rights Commission, the leadership there and all the extraordinary support that is provided and facilitated by every single person within the commission.
It is something very special. We are lucky to have that level of expertise and that care in supporting people to undertake conciliation processes, helping them to navigate our systems and of course upholding human rights, making representations to government but also navigating processes that often come at the most difficult time in a person’s life, whether it is through discrimination or victim support or through seeking that support from our Children and Young People’s Commissioner or as the public advocate. I give a very big thankyou to all of those people at the Human Rights Commission who work incredibly hard and incredibly long hours to ensure that we continue to be a leader in the field of human rights in the ACT.
I also give a special shout-out, Madam Speaker, to the Justice and Community Safety Directorate and particularly those who support me in my capacity as Minister for Human Rights. We have had a very big agenda in the past two years, not least in the considerable budget initiatives and legislative reforms that we have been progressing. They have done an outstanding job, and I could not be more proud to be working with them as we continue to lead the way here in the ACT.
With your indulgence, Madam Speaker, it was remiss of me not to thank all of the colleagues in the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate when I spoke on that earlier today. I think you heard, through my lengthy speech at the time, just how much we have been progressing in that space to support business, to support the community—all of those front-facing roles through Access Canberra—and indeed the incredible amount of very positive change that we have achieved through artsACT. Probably no-one is listening; nevertheless I do want to put that on the record. Thanks, Madam Speaker. It was remiss of me not to have done so in the earlier part of the budget today. That was no reflection on how supported I feel and the amazing achievements over the past year that indeed are reflected in this year’s budget. Thank you.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (6.14): There are some very important investments in this budget in the area of justice and community safety, which we are currently discussing in this particular line, built on key commitments which aim to make our justice system even more accessible and equitable. It also builds on our commitment to making our community safer. There are a range of initiatives which I would like to highlight, then I will also touch on some matters that have been raised during the debate and answer some questions that have been raised by colleagues in the chamber.