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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 2004 ..


I encourage Canberrans to enjoy our natural and outdoor spaces. It is good for you, it is good for us as a community, and there are so many experiences and adventures to be had. We are so lucky to live in a city that is surrounded by and intertwined with nature and green places.

Debate interrupted.

Visitor

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I close the debate, I draw members’ attention to the presence of the Hon Heidi Victoria and welcome her to the ACT Assembly. Heidi Victoria is a former minister in the Napthine Liberal government in Victoria. As I understand it, you were the Minister for the Arts, the Minister for Women’s Affairs and the Minister for Consumer Affairs. If I am not mistaken, I think we may have shared a ‘min co’ or two back in the day. Welcome to the Assembly.

Environment—Namadgi National Park

Ministerial statement

Debate resumed.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Justice—age of criminal responsibility

Ministerial statement

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong-Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (10.40): I rise today to update the Assembly on the progress of the ACT government’s commitment to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility in the territory. We first committed to this reform by a motion I initiated towards the end of the Ninth Assembly and we reaffirmed that commitment this term through the parliamentary and governing agreement. We have been getting on with this as a high priority, and I am pleased to update members on a significant milestone, the release of a public discussion paper to progress some of the more complex issues.

Yesterday, along with Minister Stephen-Smith and Minister Davidson, I released this discussion paper, which is available on the YourSay website. This reform is a big one for us here in the ACT. It will do a lot of good for the kids affected, as well as with the community being more effectively protected. However, there are some questions we need to grapple with before we can bring it into effect. These questions should not, as we see elsewhere in the country, be used as excuses to delay this work indefinitely. They, instead, are merely part of the work of making this a reality.

The community will be vital in helping us to solve some of these more complex issues. These issues include matters such as: what should our alternative model for engaging with children who engage in harmful behaviour look like, and how will we deal with cross-border issues like extradition for Canberran children who commit offences


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