Page 3365 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 14 November 2007

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copies of these RTA reports from New South Wales, I am happy to look at them, but he has not got them. He has got reports from retired and former members of the RTA who do not even live in the ACT. He has also got the “expert” advice from those people who live down at Tharwa who know only too well that you can put a low-level crossing across that river. They do not accept that you have to take away a gradient of something like 30 to 40 degrees off the bank, completely wreck the environmental flow and completely wreck the vista from Tharwa into the Lanyon Homestead and back again. The fact that they have built it on a sand base with three metres of concrete going into the river, no, they do not consider that.

Mr Pratt: John, these are red herrings.

MR HARGREAVES: They do not consider that it would cost $900,000 to do it.

Mr Pratt: These are red herrings, John.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Pratt, I warn you.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, for what reason? We are getting on and building a bridge. I think the tender process has closed and we are in the evaluation of the tender to award the contract. At this stage, Mr Speaker, the government has yet to consider a recommendation of what to do with the old bridge. Mr Pratt can carp and prattle away as long as he likes, it will make no difference.

MR SPEAKER: Come back to the subject matter of the question.

MR HARGREAVES: We will consider the reports when they are brought forward and brought to cabinet for decision. That will be in the fairly near future.

Crime—sexual assault

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, can you inform the Assembly about the recent government announcement on new funds for a sexual assault program?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. Last week I was very pleased to launch new funding of around $4 million for urgent reforms to assist the victims of sexual assault in our community. This follows on from the very serious concerns raised by victims of sexual assault about all too often the bad experience they face when they go through the justice system. I note that this is one of those initiatives that Mr Stefaniak has welcomed and has given his endorsement to. I welcome his endorsement. Perhaps he needs to tell Mr Mulcahy that this is a program that the Liberal Party supports.

This new funding shows that the government is determined to improve the experience of victims of sexual assault if they choose to go through the criminal justice system and, in particular, indicates that we want to make it easier for them to report an incident, we want to make it easier for them to give evidence and we want to make it easier for them to assist with the prosecution of alleged offenders.

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