Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 March 2021) . . Page.. 621 ..
I am by no means a member of this government, but I would like to apologise to the Tara Costigan family for this betrayal and to the families of the other women killed here in the ACT—the mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, nieces, friends, colleagues—that have suffered at the hands of someone who professed to love them and who were then betrayed by the government.
We all probably know someone who has been affected by violence. The Domestic Violence Crisis Centre received a 310 per cent increase in anonymous clients from March to April—a 310 per cent increase! We know that domestic and family violence is found in all corners of our society, and here in the ACT, despite a lot of talk to the contrary, this government has failed victims and services. Shame on any of you who are party to this cover-up of this report.
I thank Ms Lee for bringing this to the Assembly. Shedding a light once again on this issue and the need to actively engage and take notice of the feedback from our services is so important.
MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (3.32): I thank my colleagues, Mrs Kikkert and Ms Lawder, for their support of my motion. The Attorney-General can reject whatever assertion that he likes but the facts do not lie. The fact is that this report was handed to the government in March last year. The fact is that it was not published until almost March this year. The fact is that the report was going to be released under freedom of information.
It does not matter who commissioned it, why and when. The fact is that this government had access to a scathing review into the Family Violence Act, a piece of legislation that was designed to protect victims of family violence—the very piece of legislation that experts, law, legal profession, frontline workers and victims have been saying is not working.
I note the Attorney-General’s first amendment, which is to remove paragraph (4) of my motion which states:
(4) condemns the ACT Government for delaying the release of the Review; and
The second is to push back the government response to the August-September sitting period. The Attorney-General gave his explanation why that extra time might be required, given that my motion asks for a response by June, and I accept that explanation and I am happy to support that part of the amendment.
But it is important that this government does not get away with sweeping under the carpet the significance of holding onto this report for 12 months, the 12 months in which we saw our most vulnerable Canberrans let down by this government. We will not let them sweep under the carpet the significance of that betrayal like they attempted to sweep under the carpet this very review.
The Canberra Liberals will not be supporting that amendment, and the Attorney-General’s paltry and pathetic excuse for the timing is just that: paltry and