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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 16 August 2018) . . Page.. 3093 ..

The government’s amendments also went further than the opposition bill and introduced a new provision to destroy a dog in exceptional circumstances, for example, where the dog is extremely vicious or dangerous. And the new laws are being used. Dogs have been seized and, where appropriate, dangerous dogs have been destroyed.

Public safety is paramount under the new laws. A dog is only returned to its owner where public safety has been expressly considered. The emphasis of the new laws is on community safety and responsible dog ownership, with a focus on prevention and proactive compliance. It is based on international best practice for reducing dog attacks in our community. They are some of the strongest laws in the country.

I would encourage the opposition to reflect very seriously on the very extensive debate we had in the chamber about these matters last year, to check some of the facts and actually check the legislation and operation before they continue to spread mistruths in our community.

ACT Children and Young People Death Review Committee—report

Paper and statement by minister

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (3.30): For the information of members I present the following paper:

Children and Young People Act, pursuant to subsection 727T(3)—Changing the narrative for vulnerable children: Strengthening ACT systems, dated 11 July 2018.

I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: The ACT Children and Young People Death Review Committee has a number of functions, including maintaining a register of deaths of children and young people in the ACT, identifying patterns and trends in relation to the deaths of children and young people, determining research that would be valuable in this area and identifying lessons from the circumstances of a child’s or young person’s death.

The committee is able to make recommendations about legislation, policies, practices and services for implementation by government and non-government bodies to prevent avoidable deaths and reduce the number of deaths of children and young people in the ACT.

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