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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 7 August 2008) . . Page.. 3008 ..

current act creates the concept of a “domestic violence offence” which includes 57 offence types, ranging from murder to destroying or damaging property. When an accused person is charged with a domestic violence offence, the provisions of section 9F of the Bail Act 1992 are invoked, meaning that police must take into account the safety of a victim in considering whether or not to grant bail to the accused.

ACT Policing has raised a concern that the omission of trespass from the list of domestic violence offences results in a gap that impacts on its ability to protect some victims. ACT Policing identified one example where an accused person had attended the victim’s residence and was arrested for the offence of trespass. The offender was subsequently released, and returned to the victim’s premises to exact revenge on the victim for involving the police. This bill remedies that omission by introducing the offence of trespass to the list of domestic violence offences. This will enable police to remand an accused in custody for the offence of trespass in circumstances where there are fears for the victim’s safety.

These reforms are necessary to bolster the rights of those who fear or experience violence to protection and safety, whilst still maintaining the rights of respondents to receive a fair trial. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Guardianship and Management of Property Amendment Bill 2008

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.02): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill introduces an important development in options for the provision of medical treatment to people who, because of mental, intellectual or physical disability, have no capacity to consent to their own medical treatment.

Currently, where a person has impaired decision-making capacity, unless they have already appointed an attorney to make medical decisions for them under an enduring power of attorney or have a guardian appointed by the Guardianship and Property Management Tribunal, they have these decisions made for them by the Public Advocate. This means that close friends and family members currently have no recognised role in providing consent on behalf of their loved one and that health professionals seeking to administer necessary treatment to a patient cannot deal with the person’s partner and family. Instead, currently, they must refer these decisions to the Public Advocate. While the Public Advocate has carried out these duties with unimpeachable diligence and compassion, the existing system is an unnecessary drain

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