Page 892 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 29 March 2023

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we achieved in this space and ultimately secured in the 10th Assembly’s parliamentary agreement.

The ACT is heading in the right direction on these things. There remains plenty of work to be done, and today’s proposal of Ms Lawder’s should be considered as one useful element of that work. We will be supporting the government’s amendments which give effect to the concerns regarding the time frame of delivery and keeping options open as to how best deliver this. We do not believe these impact the substance of Ms Lawder’s motion. Finally, I would like to thank Ms Lawder for bringing this proposal to this chamber.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.17): in reply: I rise to close the debate and to speak to Mr Gentleman’s amendment. Thank you, Mr Gentleman, for your amendment. We will be happy to support your amendment today because what we really want to see here is the best possible result for victim survivors of sexual assault here in the ACT.

I would like to thank most members for the respectful way that they have conducted the debate this afternoon. We do not always agree on everything, but that does not mean that we should not assess the merits of an individual motion on its own, without conflating it with other debates we have had in the past.

Just as a courtesy to the fact that Dr Paterson has not been here that long, I decided not to rise on a point of order under standing order 52—a reflection upon votes—when Dr Paterson talked about the referral of a bill to committee. That was a decision of the Assembly, and Dr Paterson has reflected adversely upon that vote of the Assembly, which is quite unfortunate. I hope that perhaps she will think more carefully about that in the future as she becomes a more experienced member in this place.

As I said earlier, the online reporting option is not intended to replace a police report. It is meant to be one more avenue for a victim survivor to be able to pursue in their healing journey, to take back their power and have their voice heard, and we should do whatever we can to enable them to do that.

This is an issue that is generally in this place above politics, despite some people bringing that in. I would remind those present that we on this side have a strong record in this regard as well. Ms Lee introduced nation-leading stealthing legislation into the Assembly. Mr Hanson, when he was the shadow Attorney-General, introduced image-based abuse legislation into this Assembly. This is an issue that should be above politics, and something that we should all be pursuing for the best possible result.

I would also like to acknowledge the supports that are available for victim survivors, including the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre and a number of other organisations who we all rely on so heavily to provide support for victim survivors.

Finally, I would just like to once again reiterate the tripartisan support for the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Steering Committee report and the actions and recommendations of it, the multi-pronged approach—legislative approaches,
first responders’ approaches, community and education responses. These are all vitally important.


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