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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2055 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

It is generally in cases where a sexual assault has been alleged that a more invasive kind of examination - invasive of the privacy of the person - needs to take place. In those circumstances, Mr Speaker, we are talking about examinations, most often, of alleged victims of a sexual assault, who will generally be female and who will generally be cooperating with the police in order for a particular examination to take place. It would be extremely rare, I would suggest to members of the Assembly, to have a situation where, for example, a female person needed to be examined by a doctor to take a body tissue sample in circumstances where invasion of privacy would necessarily be part of the process. That would be a very rare occurrence indeed. To the extent that such a situation ever arose, obviously this legislation would facilitate that, but with the protections that Ms Follett referred to, of respect for the privacy of the person concerned and the presence of certain people being of a kind which maximises the protection of that person's privacy.

Mr Speaker, I hope this is not legislation that is often required, but, on past practice, unfortunately, it will be needed from time to time, and I believe that the result will be an appropriate weapon in the armoury of our police to deal with serious offences, but one which I hope can be exercised without undue infringement of the individual's liberties in these circumstances.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Ministerial Statement

Debate resumed from 14 May 1996, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MS FOLLETT (11.59): Much of the impetus for the debate in this Assembly, at least, on this matter has gone now that the first stage of the weapons amendment legislation has been passed by the Assembly. There are a couple of points I would like to make about it, however. The first of those is that I have been quite literally appalled by the emerging debate over gun control that has been portrayed in the media since the Australasian Police Ministers Council meeting took place. It seems to me that, rather than the debate becoming more rational as information was shared amongst the community about the nature of amendment to gun control, it has actually got far more irrational, far more heated and, from my point of view, far more dangerous.

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