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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 July 2019) . . Page.. 2489 ..

for parents whose children have been removed from their care or who are at risk of being removed and seek to achieve reunification and address issues of parental substance abuse, parenting capacity, family violence and mental health issues.

The drug and alcohol court and the therapeutic care court are demonstrations of this government’s firm commitment to examining the evidence, just as Mrs Kikkert’s motion calls on us to do. They are also demonstrations of our core values. We believe in making our legal system restorative and rehabilitative. That means that our court system should support people to repair the harm they have caused through offending and restore the relationships with the community.

When it comes to addressing the impacts of drug and alcohol abuse, harm minimisation is our number one priority. Treating addiction in order to prevent people from falling into a cycle of crime is an important way of minimising the harm of substance abuse to individuals, their families and the broader community.

Those restorative approaches help to make our community whole again after conflict, crime and loss. They also help to make sure that behaviour ceases and does not flow on into the future. Holding people responsible for crime can happen, and simultaneously we are able to address the underlying causes of the behaviour. In fact, as Minister Stephen-Smith has mentioned, we need to deal with the underlying cause of behaviour and not just the symptoms and the behaviour itself.

Across our laws and our services this government has demonstrated its commitment to preventing and minimising harm. Our approach to drugs, alcohol and other sources of harm will always focus on evidence rather than ideology, and evidence about how we can make life better for individuals of all ages, for families, for friends and our whole community will definitely continue to guide our actions.

We have approached this determined to ensure that people, especially the most vulnerable people in our community, get the support they need. We are delivering, and we will keep delivering on our commitment to make Canberra safe, stronger and more connected. Again, I thank Mrs Kikkert for the motion today. I thank Minister Stephen-Smith for her speech and her amendment to the motion, and I commend the amendment to the Assembly.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.03 to 2.00 pm.

Questions without notice

Health—maternity services

MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, why is it that mothers are leaving our hospitals more quickly than anywhere else in Australia?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Sorry; can I ask Mr Coe to repeat the question.

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