Page 1318 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 5 May 2015

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I know the Liberal Party do not believe that. I know they have a different view, and they are entitled to have a different view on how government concessions should be delivered. But it is our view that government concessions should be delivered to those most in need. We will put forward a range of options to the community, following the submissions process and our consideration of the work that has been undertaken to date, before any decisions are made in relation to the concessions program.

Crime—domestic violence

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, can you please tell the Assembly about recent actions the ACT government has undertaken to tackle the issue of violence in personal relationships?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his question. As a government and, I believe, as an Assembly, we are committed to an effective whole-of-government response and a community response to the problem of domestic violence in our city. The recent attention that has been given to domestic and family violence has seen strong support at both a national and a local level, and it has reinforced the importance of domestic violence response and prevention as a high priority for the government.

In early April, as members would be aware, there was a very successful meeting of the Domestic Violence Prevention Council. This extraordinary meeting, as a result of a tripartisan resolution in this place, supported an important conversation among a large number of stakeholders, including non-government and government agencies, on issues around services and responses to victims and perpetrators of domestic and family violence. The Domestic Violence Prevention Council have now provided me with their final report as a result of that extraordinary meeting, outlining a number of recommendations for addressing domestic and family violence, including sexual assault.

The government is already working actively to make legal reforms to help prevent domestic and family violence. I have recently announced a major family violence legislative reform program that will address the 131 recommendations directly relevant to the territory from the Australian and New South Wales law reform commissions’ report into family violence.

As a government we are also exploring options to address immediate concerns raised by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the family violence intervention program, with a bill anticipated to be introduced later this year. This bill, as I have previously announced, will include a new strangulation offence and allow police to record a complainant’s statement and use that as primary evidence of the complainant at any subsequent hearing.

In addition, we as a government have announced reforms to the victims of crime financial assistance scheme to better respond to those in our community who experience family violence and who have previously been excluded from many of the beneficial elements of that scheme. As a government we are also a signatory to the national plan to reduce violence against women and children. We have held, since 2012, over five roundtables on the development of responses to and implementation of the national strategy’s recommendations.

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