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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 November 2007) . . Page.. 3548 ..

address these issues around victims of sexual assault having to give the same evidence on multiple occasions. But I have already indicated, in response to previous calls from the opposition—and I am happy to reiterate it today—that the government will not engage in piecemeal, ad hoc changes. We have announced—in fact, I announced just over a week ago—over $200,000 worth of funding, as part of a $4 million package, to fund the positions needed to undertake the law reform proposals, to prepare the changes, to prepare the legislation and to put it to this Assembly. So that is what the government is going to do. We will reform these laws and we will do it as part of an overarching package of reforms in terms of the law and in terms of court procedures to ensure that these issues are addressed.

My time frame is in the order of the middle of next year to have those reforms here in the Assembly but piecemeal and ad hoc reform is not going to address these issues substantially.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR CORBELL: I find it enormously hypocritical of those opposite to be critical of the government’s response on this matter. They were as aware of these issues as we were—

Opposition members interjecting

MR CORBELL: and they did not legislate. Mr Stefaniak did not legislate when he was Attorney-General to address these issues.

Opposition members interjecting

MR CORBELL: You were Attorney-General, Mr Stefaniak. Did you legislate to address these issues?

Mr Stefaniak: And you were the government in March 2005, minister; we weren’t.

MR CORBELL: No, you did not. Mr Stefaniak, when he was the responsible minister, did not legislate. This government is acting—

Mr Stefaniak: The police and the DPP brought it to your attention in 2005.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Stefaniak, cease interjecting, please.

MR CORBELL: This government is acting on this issue. A $4 million package was announced by me just over a week ago which deals with the issues of being able to give evidence remotely through television and audio link, including an offsite witness facility. We have provided additional support to victims of crime. We have provided additional prosecution support to the DPP and the police. We are demonstrating our commitment in real and concrete terms. In addition to that, we are funding the development of a comprehensive law reform package, which the government will put to the Assembly, which will address the broad range of issues that affect the ability of a victim of sexual assault to give evidence in court.

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