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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 March 2021) . . Page.. 619 ..


MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (3.21): When the ACT Greens and ACT Labor formed their coalition, they published a media release. Fittingly, on the list of things that they said they would focus on, governing with integrity and transparency is last on this list. Go figure it! During the campaign I met many people who were traditional Labor voters who were disillusioned by the actions of this government. Some decided to vote Liberal; some decided to vote Green. The actions of this government in relation to this review is a severe let down to anyone who hoped that a stronger Green voice in this coalition government would bring more honesty and integrity to the table. This is true.

Consider these facts: the Green Attorney-General only released this review into legislation that is supposed to protect some of our most vulnerable when his hand was forced by a freedom of information request. The JACS website says that they were pleased to publish the final report of the review of the Family Violence Act. If they really took so much pleasure in publishing it, why did it take so long for them to do it? And why, despite this review being handed to the government a year ago, did they publish only eight days before they published the report through the FOI?

Even after being forced to release the review they are still digging their heels in and not tabling the review with the government’s response. It is true that they are not legally required to do this but, considering the Greens policy of a clear presumption of proactive disclosure, they are ethically obliged to publish the government’s response. Mr Rattenbury had this to say about the review, “The findings are clear and spelt out in the paper. We will now follow through and make those considerations.” What does this even mean? What does the minister mean when he says, “We will now follow through and make those considerations”? It almost sounds like he will follow through with the recommendation. But that is not really what he said. What it does sound like is a noncommittal response.

We already know that when the government has a report with findings and recommendations, they can drag their feet with their response and implementation. In fact, Mr Rattenbury’s response to a finding of a review of the AMC way back in 2018 still has not been completed. Right?

The government must commit to a public time line for when they will table their formal response to the review, including what legislative reforms will be undertaken and whether the recommendations will be implemented by the last sitting day in June 2021, for the sake of their integrity and, most importantly, for the sake of those who participated in this review and for those most closely affected by family violence.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (3.25): In 2015 I stood in this place to pay tribute to Tara Costigan, who was murdered by her ex-partner who was sentenced to 32 years and two months in jail for the attack. Days after Tara’s death, police were called to another murder—that of 28-year-old Sabah Al Mdwali, who was stabbed to death by her husband. Both women were holding their babies when they were killed, and the babies’ older siblings were in the house at the time. About a month later Daniela D’Addario was killed by her ex-boyfriend, who put her body in the boot of his car and drove to Bermagui before he was caught by police. These are just some of the roll of women murdered by their partners and ex-partners


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