Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2575 ..
Prostitution Act and the Commonwealth Crimes Act relating to sexual servitude were being fully enforced in the ACT.
Can you, as attorney, tell the Assembly, as a result of this, what investigations were set in train after the disclosure in a New South Wales inquest that a Thai woman who had been trafficked to Australia at the age of 12 had worked in an ACT brothel at some stage? Has the brothel been identified? What inquiries have been undertaken relating to how the woman came to be there and who was responsible for employing her?
MR STANHOPE: Following the previous question that I received on this issue. I, or my office, contacted the Chief Police Officer; I can't quite recall the details of that. I'll find out exactly how I did respond to that and what the response was. I don't quite remember the detail. I am more than happy to provide that detail to the Assembly.
In relation to the distressing revelations that the member refers to: the ACT government did respond to that through the Minister for Women, who made contact, I think on that very same day of those particularly distressing revelations, with the New South Wales minister. Our minister, Ms Gallagher, is working closely with New South Wales in relation to an inquiry which New South Wales is fostering into the issue of sexual servitude in the ACT and New South Wales. I would be more than happy to ask Ms Gallagher to give details of the steps she has taken.
In relation to any further steps that the ACT police may have taken: that is a matter for my colleague the minister for police.
Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, on this-
MR SPEAKER: Is this a supplementary question, Mrs Dunne?
Mrs Dunne: No, this is a point of order, because it goes to relevancy. I asked a specific question. Under 118(a) I would like an answer to the question: what investigations were done to find out if this woman was trafficked into the ACT; where was she working and-
MR SPEAKER: I think the Chief Minister has said that he would examine the record in relation to that and report back.
MR STANHOPE: I actually hadn't finished my answer when Mrs Dunne took the point of order, Mr Speaker. What I was saying about the response that I'm aware of, subsequent to the revelations, was that the Minister for Women has made contact with her New South Wales counterpart. The Minister for Women may be able to provide further details of the collaborative work that is now being done between the ACT and New South Wales in relation to this issue generally.
In relation to any steps that the ACT police may have taken: I will ask my colleague the minister for police, because I am not responsible for policing matters. In relation to the issue generally, as Chief Minister and Attorney-General, I am more than happy to take the question on notice, which I now do.