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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1231 ..

It is with hope and optimism that we participate in this work. Madam Speaker, you will have already seen that the Canberra Liberals do have a lot to offer. We have already put forward some suggestions in this space.

As well as the ministers who have spoken and who have outlined the responses of their directorates in the areas under their direction, I would also like very much to express appreciation to the Victims of Crime Commissioner, who does such a fantastic job in this area, and is always full of positivity and the knowledge that we can and will do better. It affects so many people in our society. I refer not just to the victim survivors themselves but to the great ripple effect on their families, friends and colleagues when some kind of sexual assault takes place.

As someone who has worked in the community sector, in homelessness and in disability, I have seen firsthand and heard about the disproportionate effects on women as a result of sexual assault and sexual violence, so it is important. As I have already said, my colleagues and I on this side of the chamber have so much to offer with respect to possible solutions and approaches to sexual assault prevention and response.

I urge the minister to continue to have a tripartisan approach to this issue in reality, not just in words. I remain absolutely hopeful and optimistic that we can and will make a difference.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

COVID-19 pandemic response—update

Ministerial statement

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (10.42): I rise to provide an update on the COVID-19 situation in the ACT and the plans, preparations and actions that the government continues to take to protect the health and wellbeing of Canberrans.

Since my last update on 20 April, the ACT remains in a strong position in our response to COVID-19. Across the country, Australia continues to do well, despite a recent increase in the number of positive cases detected in returned international travellers in hotel quarantine. I thank the Canberra community for following the public health directions and advice, as this is critical to our continued efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

I also want to acknowledge the continued hard work of our frontline hospital staff, the staff at our testing and vaccination centres and our entire public health system for helping to keep the community safe. I appreciate the community’s patience as we progress the COVID-19 vaccination program to protect our community, and now see more and more ACT residents eligible to book their vaccination appointment.

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