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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 May 2015) . . Page.. 1319 ..

It is worth highlighting also that last year I wrote to the Domestic Violence Prevention Council requesting that it undertake a review into the 72 domestic violence related deaths that occurred in the ACT between 1988 and 2012. This review, when it is received later this year, will assist the government and, I hope, the Assembly in getting a robust and independent picture of domestic and family violence in the ACT and inform appropriate policy responses. The government has provided additional funding to those non-government organisations that support responses to family violence, including the most recent disbursements from the confiscated assets trust fund which I announced earlier this year.

With those combined efforts, I believe that as a jurisdiction we are working very hard to respond to this scourge in our community. I thank members for their support of this effort. We will be continuing with this very proactive reform agenda.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Attorney, can you please elaborate on what the outcomes were from the extraordinary meeting of the Domestic Violence Prevention Council held on 2 April 2015?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his supplementary. It was a very positive gathering of stakeholders, service providers, policymakers and victims of domestic violence from across the ACT. It was extraordinary in many ways. For me, I think the most extraordinary outcome was to be able to hear directly, in a way that is rarely available to policymakers, the experience of victims and their stories.

There were some very powerful stories from victims who, very bravely, I believe, chose to stand up and speak of their experiences of domestic violence itself and of the criminal justice system’s response. I want to commend them and thank them for the bravery that they showed and the insights that they shared on that day.

Importantly also, we were able to see exactly the key priorities of stakeholder groups and the emphasis they attached to some immediate and further practical action to resolve and address the concerns and the experiences of victims—whether it is ensuring that interim domestic violence protection orders are able to remain in force if they are associated with criminal proceedings, or that there are greater linkages between domestic violence service providers and the criminal justice system through the FVIP, or a range of other measures.

I think there were some powerful messages for us out of that meeting. The government and I, as the attorney—and I know along with my colleagues, particularly Ms Berry and Mr Gentleman—remain very committed to ensuring that we use that momentum to make further reform to reduce the incidence of this type of crime in our community.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Attorney, can you please explain in more detail to the Assembly what legislative reforms the government has announced in this area?

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