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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4050 ..

We must all work together as a legislature and as a society to make sure that domestic and family violence is stamped out. I have no doubt that we all have a commitment to a future free from violence for everyone. The Canberra Liberals have always demonstrated time and again our willingness to work with Labor and the Greens on issues of such importance that cross political lines like this.

Ms Berry and I have discussed this motion throughout the course of this week in an extremely cordial, very open and very frank way, which is why it was so disappointing to see Ms Berry’s comments having a dig at the Canberra Liberals in the Canberra Times this morning and once again in her speech on this motion. In fact, they are actually my words that are still included in this motion at (1)(a):

there is zero tolerance for domestic and family violence and that everyone has the right to be safe in their homes, communities, workplaces and online;

In fact, they are my words that are included in this motion at (2)(d):

the Fair Work Commission is currently undertaking a review of the family and domestic violence leave clause in modern awards;

They are my words in this motion at (3)(b), calling on the ACT government:

to continue working with the community and all stakeholders to provide support for all Australian workers to live a life free from violence;

The Canberra Liberals acknowledge the current review that is being undertaken by the Fair Work Commission and that it should be able to complete that review. It is an extremely important review and it should run its course, allowing our community the opportunity to have it thoroughly, thoroughly considered. Despite this, in good faith and working with Ms Berry on this motion, I even suggested paragraph (3)(a) literally include:

include 10 days of paid domestic and family violence leave in the National Employment Standards;

This is an extraordinary measure of good faith on the part of the Canberra Liberals to make sure that this very important topic of this motion could have tripartisan support but accurately capture and provide a sensible way forward, given the current review being conducted by the Fair Work Commission. This was rejected by Ms Berry, as was my suggestion to include the purely factual paragraph that the Australian coalition announced a $5,000 escaping violence payment.

It is extremely disappointing that, despite our very cordial, very open and very frank discussions, Ms Berry has chosen to slight the Canberra Liberals so publicly in seeking to play politics with a topic that touches so many Canberrans. This un-ministerial conduct is just a new low. The Canberra Liberals are committed to ensuring that victims of domestic and family violence get appropriate support to start a life free from violence, and we will not be playing politics with people’s lives.

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