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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 March 2010) . . Page.. 1230 ..

Mr Hanson: I am simply following the lead of Mr Corbell, who referred to them as gooses.


MR HARGREAVES: You are indeed. I know that you will be very interested in what happens to the protection of geese in this town. I know that you have a fixation with looking after the welfare of the geese.

But it is important to know why it is that we have to have a more lenient approach to individuals, and that is because of the original one for the industry. It turns on the word “reckless”. “Reckless” means that there is an intention. It means that you do know something and you do not care about the consequences. It is an active state of mind. The provisions are really stiff when somebody recklessly does something, like recklessly leaving a gate open so that a very savage dog can run off down the street. That is reckless. But, if people ought to know but do not, it is a passive state of mind and so we need to be a little bit more lenient about that. However, once they are advised by an inspector, they then move from passive to active and if they continue that particular approach then the heavier penalties should indeed apply.

The current general animal cruelty offence provisions can still apply, of course, in appropriate circumstances, to a failure to comply with a mandatory code of practice, just as they can apply to existing approved codes of practice.

I would like to commend Animal Health Australia for providing a clear pathway to reform this important area of community concern. And I can tell you, from my own experience as a minister in this place of sharing the frustration, that there are different approaches across different jurisdictions. At the end of the day, the animals themselves are the ones that need our protection. They do not have a vote across jurisdictions and we need to have a national approach.

I believe the changes being debated here today regarding the provision for mandatory codes of practice is a major jump forward in animal protection both within the ACT and nationally. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (11.57), in reply: I thank all members that have spoken for their contributions to this debate. The purpose of the Animal Welfare Act 1992 is the promotion of animal welfare. It does this in a number of ways.

The act establishes animal cruelty offences, regulates the use of animals for research, teaching and breeding through a system of licences and authorisations with oversight by animal ethics committees, regulates the use of animals used in circuses and travelling zoos, regulates animal trapping and details the creation and functions of the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee.

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