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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2010) . . Page.. 304 ..

The bill also makes a series of amendments both to the act and to subordinate legislation to remove the phrase “authorised officers” and replace it with “authorised persons”. There are a number of amendments to sections of the act which currently refer to a police officer as well as an authorised officer, and these are set out in clause 16 of the bill. These amendments replace the term “the officer” with “the authorised person or policeman”. The use of the phrase “authorised persons” or “authorised people” is in line with current drafting practice and reflects the government’s commitment to keep the territory’s statute book up to date. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (12.01): I rise also to speak support of the bill. The bill amends the Domestic Animals Act in a number of ways, as we have heard.

Mr Coe: Do you have a dog, Mary?

MS PORTER: I will talk about my dog in a minute, Mr Coe. I am not going to respond to you; I will talk to the chair.

Opposition members interjecting—

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, could you just get a bit of order, please?

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. Ms Porter, you have the floor.

MS PORTER: Thank you very much. It gives people subject to dog attacks a simple mechanism to access information held by Domestic Animal Services staff about the owner of the attacking dog. The bill also removes the need for identity cards for Domestic Animal Services staff to include their names following a series of threats to staff, as we have heard previously. Finally, the bill replaces the phrases “authorised officer” and “authorised officers” with “authorised person” and “authorised people” respectively in line with standard current drafting practice.

Turning to the first major amendment, I commend the bill for providing people subject to dog attacks with a simple and inexpensive means to access information held by the registrar. It reflects the act’s goal of encouraging responsible pet ownership. This encouragement is demonstrated by the government’s reducing registration fees for dogs that have successfully completed obedience training. Well-behaved dogs are to be encouraged and welcomed by the Canberra community, as well as well-behaved people, I presume.

Owning a dog carries considerable responsibility and obligations to the animal and to the community. Unfortunately, there are some people who do not give careful consideration to the responsibilities that come with owning a dog and other animals, and they behave irresponsibly in this regard. I recently purchased a dog from the RSPCA. Her name is Lola. Lola is already an important member of the family.

Mr Coe: Her name is Lola?

MS PORTER: Her name is Lola.

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