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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2713 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

other jurisdictions and overseas before moving ahead in the ACT. There has been some work undertaken by way of assessments of these programs, but the evidence is inconclusive at this early stage, and I would prefer to await results of interstate and overseas trials, to save us reinventing the wheel.

This is an appropriate opportunity to mention that the ACT will be participating in a national domestic violence summit beginning in September this year, with a national forum for selected Commonwealth and State/Territory government officials and non-government experts. This will culminate in a summit meeting of relevant Commonwealth and State/Territory Ministers planned for May 1997. I understand that Professors Rebecca and Russell Dobash, who are recognised experts in this field, will be attending from the United Kingdom. I anticipate that the outcomes of the summit and, hopefully, of consultation with these experts will serve to inform and enhance the developments taking place in the ACT as the strategy is put in place.

The ACT has for some time been a leader in addressing the difficult and tragic issue of domestic violence. Our domestic violence laws, which have been in place since 1986, have been acknowledged as providing a responsive civil process for rescuing and protecting vulnerable people from the threat of domestic violence. Further, I am advised that the cooperation which exists between the Domestic Violence Crisis Service and the Australian Federal Police and the model of a 24-hour crisis intervention service are well recognised by other jurisdictions.

The report of the Community Law Reform Committee encourages us to put more emphasis on the criminality of domestic violence and the redemption of offenders. I believe that the implementation of the measures proposed by the Government will make a real difference to the overall approach to domestic violence in the ACT. With an emphasis on supporting victims at all levels, the Government is very aware that the problem is an urgent one. We are determined to deal with it by rising to the challenges set by the CLRC report. Above and beyond these challenges, however, our emphasis will always be on seeking to prevent domestic violence, as violence against women, children and, in some cases, men is a serious problem the ACT can neither afford to condone nor allow to continue. Mr Speaker, I congratulate the Community Law Reform Committee on its report and I commend the Government's response to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Follett) adjourned.

Report on Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 6 of 1995 -
Government Response

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (3.39): For the information of members, I present the Government's response to Report No. 12 of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts entitled "Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 6, 1995 - Contract for Collection of Domestic Garbage : Non-Salary Entitlements of Senior Government Officers", which was presented to the Assembly on 18 April 1996.

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