Page 3950 - Week 12 - Thursday, 20 October 2005

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MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, my first explanation is in response to the Chief Minister’s claim that I was banned from the Canberra mosque. That is not true. One man, representing a tiny proportion of the Muslim community and without authority, spoke of the so-called ban on ABC radio. That was rescinded through majority outcry from the Muslim community on the same day. That is the first point.

Mr Stanhope: One man. He just happens to be the president of the mosque.

MR PRATT: Representing a group of about 12 people, Jon. If I may also respond to the claim by Mr Hargreaves that I have not been to any multicultural events—

Mr Hargreaves: I did not say that.

MR PRATT: Few or none, or 200, or 50. May I just outline the following: in October, dinner with the Malaysian ambassador and Malaysian community, dinner with the Syrian ambassador and the Syrian community, and dinner with the Saudi and Omani communities—so much for a ban, by the way; in September, Migrant Resource Centre AGM; ACTMC international night, 23 September; Muslim reception, which we hosted and which, by the way, your government boycotted; visited the Canberra mosque on 26 August, apparently while there was a ban in play; Arab and Australian Women’s Friendship Association meeting on 16 August; Korean day on 8 September; Indian dinner in early August; Canberra Islamic Centre in early August; on 28 September, a Muslim function; on 28 September, the ACT Multicultural Council; on 16 July, a welcome to the Sri Lankan high commissioner; Turkish anniversary of Cyprus day on 17 July; on 23 July, Arab and Australian Women’s Friendship Association dinner dance; on 26 July, Egyptian national day; on 27 July, Canberra Islamic Centre—need I go on?-on 2 June, Italian embassy farewell; on 18 June, the Fiji-Australia night; on 20 June, ACTMC meeting; on 23 June, Croatian national day; on 25 June, Croatia club; and on 24 June, a citizenship ceremony. I think that I will leave it there, Mr Speaker.

High-risk sexual offenders—report

Paper and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (3.27): I present the following paper:

Sentence and Release Options for High-Risk Sexual Offenders—Report prepared for the ACT Government by Professor David Biles OAM, Consultant Criminologist and Professor Associate, Charles Sturt University, dated September 2005.

I ask for leave to make a statement in relation to the paper. Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: The issue of how we deal with sex offenders is always complex and is bound to stir community debate. All governments want to minimise the threat posed by serious and repeat sexual offenders, especially those who prey on children. But we want to be sure that any response is considered and evidence based.

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