Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 862 ..
That is over and above the weekly newsletter that is already being distributed to all affected households, indeed all residents of the affected suburbs; the biweekly advertisements in the Canberra Times informing all residents of all the initiatives that are currently being pursued; the arrangement between the bushfire recovery task force and the Canberra Times to run a frequent-I believe daily-billboard; and, as I have mentioned previously, the very frequent information evenings that have been conducted by the recovery centre and by Bovis Lend Lease.
ACT Housing has worked vigorously to ensure that we restore destroyed houses as soon as possible. My colleague Mr Wood has spoken at length on that. In addition, ACT Housing has developed strategies for ensuring that those people who are looking to ACT Housing for short or medium-term accommodation are catered for.
Another issue is whether the ACT building and development sector can ensure that those who wish to rebuild will be able to rebuild in a timely fashion and in accordance with timetables they set for themselves. The bushfire recovery task force has given enormous energy to this issue, under the leadership of task force member Mr Terry Snow. Assurances continue to be received from all sectors of the local industry-the MBA, the HIA and industry leaders-that they believe they have the capacity, and certainly the determination, to ensure that all those wishing to rebuild will not be thwarted by shortages, to the greatest extent that we can deal with that. It is a subject uppermost in the minds of the bushfire recovery task force and the industry generally.
Homosexual advance defence
MRS CROSS: My question is to Mr Stanhope in his capacity as Attorney-General. Mr Stanhope, homosexual advance defence operates so as to diminish the criminal responsibility of people who kill gay and lesbian people. Are you aware of this legal defence, and do you think it adequately reflects a proper construction of the notion of diminished responsibility in murder trials?
MR SPEAKER: Order! That is calling for a legal opinion. The Attorney-General may wish to respond, but he is not obliged to.
MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I think there is an answer I can usefully give that will not trespass on the giving of legal opinion. Mrs Cross has asked a very current and timely question: the issue of the gay panic defence and its interrelationship with the defence of provocation.
Indeed, the question is related to some extent to the issue that was under discussion this morning, which may form part of the second phase of a law reform package in relation to issues affecting same-sex people-gays, lesbians and transgender people-in the ACT. I can inform Mrs Cross that the Department of Justice and Community Safety is reviewing the law of provocation as part of the progressive reforms of ACT criminal law and the adoption of the Model Criminal Code.
The Model Criminal Code recommends that the defence of provocation be abolished, in the sense that consideration should be confined solely to the sentencing process. The