Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 863 ..
defence of provocation has attracted a great deal of criticism, with a number of law reform bodies calling for its abolition.
There has been a great deal of concern regarding the defence since the High Court case of Green and the Queen, which contained a comprehensive discussion on the availability of the defence of provocation in the circumstances of a non-violent homosexual advance.
These issues are covered in the issues paper prepared by the government on gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the ACT. As I indicated this morning, the issues will certainly be covered in the report which the department of justice is preparing, with the proposal that we table it in about May.
It is a serious issue and one that we have raised in the discussion paper. It is an issue we will respond to in the government's response to the issues paper, and I anticipate the government will be proposing further amendments in relation to it in the second tranche of our reform package on discrimination against gay and lesbian people.
Mrs Cross, it is one of the outstanding issues in relation to discrimination against gay and lesbian people and one we need to concentrate on as we continue to consider these issues over the rest of this year. It is timely that you have raised this important issue in the Assembly today.
MRS CROSS: Chief Minister, I think you have already answered this, but I will ask it anyway. Are you aware of the High Court case of Malcolm Thomas Green and the Queen, and can you advise the chamber whether homosexual advance has application in the ACT?
MR SPEAKER: That is clearly a request for a legal opinion, too. They are not permitted under standing orders. The Chief Minister might wish to respond to it-it is up to him-but he does not have to.
MR STANHOPE: Yes, Mrs Cross, that is a decision of the High Court and it does have application in the ACT. The gay panic defence-the matter discussed in Green and the Queen-as a consequence of Green and the Queen and the decision of the High Court-is potentially available in the ACT at this time.
It is anomalous; there is no doubt about that. In law that applies in the ACT, it is on the agenda as part of the issues papers. It is an issue to which the government will respond in May. I look forward to further debate on it with members of the Assembly.
MR CORNWELL: My question is to the Treasurer, Mr Quinlan. Is it true that the roads and engineering maintenance units at Totalcare will be closed on 30 September this year, with the loss of many jobs?
MR QUINLAN: The answer to that is-how do I put this?-possibly. I shall skate on thin ice in terms of giving government policy in the answer to this question.