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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 15 November 2007) . . Page.. 3419 ..

Building on this initiative, the government also recently announced a suite of reforms to improve the criminal justice response to investigating and prosecuting sexual offences, including improved police and court support for child and adult victims, and reducing the re-traumatisation experienced by victims in the justice system. Additionally, separate funding of just under $1 million has been provided in this financial year to implement these sexual assault reforms.

This government is committed to meeting the needs of victims of crime. We need to focus more on support for victims to help them overcome the trauma and distress that they suffer. The government is committed to achieving measures for victims that best lend themselves to reducing victimisation and supporting victims and witnesses through their ordeal. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned to the next sitting.

Working Families in the Australian Capital Territory—Select Committee


Debate resumed from 16 October 2007, on motion by Mr Gentleman:

That the report be noted.

Mr Mulcahy: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to speak again on this matter.

Leave not granted.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.38): I thank Mr Gentleman and the committee for their work on this important topic. It has become even more topical with the outburst from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition yesterday in relation to the health minister.

In the context of a debate on the effect of Work Choices on working families, it is important to look back at some of the research that has been undertaken over the duration of Work Choices since its implementation in 2006, and perhaps to look at what some organisations were saying in advance of the implementation of this legislation. We should also look at the broader context, particularly given the work of the Skills Commission. I would like to touch on a couple of those issues.

First of all, Mr Speaker, it is worth noting the statements that were made in advance of the introduction of Work Choices. When you look back, you will see they were quite accurate. I would like to quote from the report of the National Council of Women of Australia, which stated that the Work Choices reforms were likely to produce less favourable outcomes in wages, conditions and employment rights for women. The report stated that the reforms would worsen the position of women in the workplace and would have long-term repercussions for women, their families and communities, as well as the future prosperity of this country.

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