Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1914 ..

I do not think anyone expected the safer families levy to be used in this way. When I first learnt of this change, I was alarmed and sought clarity directly from the minister, in hearings. In subsequent budget estimates and annual report hearings, I have continued to raise significant concerns about the ACT government’s decision to pull much-needed funding away from front-line services. I will continue to fight as long as our front-line services struggle with a lack of funding and increasing demands, only worsened by the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

We are living at a time when there are more vulnerable people than ever—more instances of women escaping domestic violence; more children who experience or witness violence at home but are invisible in the ACT’s domestic and family violence system; more mothers and children out on the streets and left without a place to sleep, let alone a place to call home.

None of this is okay. Residents rightly expect that their payment of the safer families levy will create increased safety for those directly impacted by domestic violence. Like many Canberrans, I am committed to fiercely advocating for what we need in order to eliminate such violence and strengthen families.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Domestic Violence Agencies Amendment Bill 2021

Ms Berry, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (10.35): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce the Domestic Violence Agencies Amendment Bill 2021. Establishing the ACT Domestic and Family Violence Death Review will provide a critical mechanism for improving our system responses to domestic and family violence in the ACT. I am confident that this bill delivers on the ACT government’s commitment to the prevention of domestic and family violence and will contribute to the knowledge we need to inform our practices and processes to improve the safety of victims and to better address the devastating impacts of domestic and family violence.

The objectives of the bill are to provide the legislative mechanisms necessary to operate a domestic and family violence death review in the ACT. Following a number of ACT reports, in 2016 the ACT government agreed to provide the legislative mechanism to establish a domestic and family violence death review in the ACT with appropriate statutory-based powers. The enactments I present today honour that commitment.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video