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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3834 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Prevention Council, the government's own council which it ignored. That is the context of this motion that Ms Tucker has moved, and just tonight, in the case of the defamation legislation, we agreed to a government/Osborne amendment to insert such a provision in the Defamation Bill. This amendment should be supported.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (8.14): Mr Speaker, I scanned through the Defamation Act. As I recall, it was something like a 24-month gap and a review by government.

Mr Wood: Yes, things move more slowly there.

MR MOORE: Indeed. There is a concern. Mr Stefaniak has said, "We will review it." He has committed the government to reviewing it. Ms Tucker has put up a prescriptive review, with an independent body, the Domestic Violence Prevention Council, doing the review. We do not know what resources are available to them, or how they will be able to do it and so forth. This is a decision we are making on the spur of the moment, zooming through without any consultation at all. I wonder whether anybody has asked the Domestic Violence Prevention Council if they want to do this review.

Ms Tucker: Yes, they do. They asked us to do it.

MR MOORE: Ms Tucker says they have asked for it. That may well be the case. Mr Stefaniak is saying, "Yes, we are happy to do a review. We are taking your point. We will do a review." This does not have to be in the legislation because we are going to do it. We can make sure that the appropriate resources and the appropriation system is brought to bear. I think that is a reasonable position for Mr Stefaniak. Had this been circulated earlier and we had had a chance to look at it, and maybe modify it, I think that would have been a reasonable way to go about it.

MR HARGREAVES (8.15): Mr Speaker, I have been listening to this debate. I have not been involved in the make-up of all the bits and pieces, but what strikes me as being absolutely abhorrent is that we are being asked to pass legislation without really detailed input from people who represent the primary victim in all this stuff. Mr Stanhope is saying that there are key stakeholders involved in this thing that have not had their input. We have not had the benefit of their advice. They deal with these victims every day of the week.

We all abhor domestic violence. I am sure none of us here would not abhor domestic violence. We get bagged out for not having any women representative on this side of the chamber. The main body of this Assembly is made up of men. We have an opportunity to ask these people who deal with women who have been battered what they think of this bill. Why do we want to do that? Because we want the best protection for them.

This is not a political point-scoring game. Where the heck, Mr Speaker, do we get off making decisions like this on behalf of people who are going to suffer the consequences of this? It's just unbelievable. As Mr Stanhope says, it beggars belief.

Mr Moore actually went along with these sorts of provisions in the rehabilitation of offenders legislation. Why do you think that was, Mr Speaker? It was because there was a slight chance, with the best of intentions, that we might have made a mistake, or that

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