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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 August 2015) . . Page.. 2290 ..

floor of the chamber that we take some time to examine the proposal and how it would work. It is important to look thoroughly at the idea of a full-time domestic violence court, how it would be established, the cost and benefits, and to gain the input of the court and other key stakeholders at the operational level and the practical roll-out level. Mr Hanson’s motion does not set out the details of how the new court would work. I am sure he would say, “Well, of course not.” It is not his job to do that part of it, but that work needs to be done. It is fair to give some time to explore the concept fully and report back to the Assembly.

I stress that from my point of view this is not and should never be construed as a dismissal of Mr Hanson’s motion for the idea of a full-time domestic violence court. I support progressing this idea further, and I am certainly attracted to the idea. It is sensible that we properly explore how it would work, have the government report back to the Assembly and then the Assembly can make a fully informed decision about whether to change the legislation. I believe this is the best way to advance the proposal and ensure that it works properly.

I hope the spirit of tripartisanship we have shown so far on domestic violence continues and that through my support for the amendments moved by Mr Corbell Mr Hanson will see that this idea is progressing, that there is broad support for it in the Assembly, and that there is a commitment to improving all of the facets of how we deal with domestic violence in the ACT. It is clear to me, both from the public discussion we have heard and through some of the filters I specifically get through the corrections portfolio, that we have work to do to improve the system in the ACT and to make sure we provide the protection for victims of domestic and family violence that the community clearly expects.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Women and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social Inclusion and Equality) (10:38): I join with the Attorney-General and Mr Rattenbury in thanking Mr Hanson for moving this motion. The government remains committed to supporting those who have experienced domestic and family violence, including sexual assault, and we will not tolerate this type of violence in the territory.

As highlighted by Mr Hanson in March this year, the Assembly agreed to provide bipartisan support to address domestic violence in the ACT in order to begin the long road we have to travel on breaking the cycles of violence that we know affect many families in our community.

We have begun this difficult work in consultation with both our local sector and national bodies. Some of the responses we have begun have been outlined in the ACT government budget for 2015-16, which included a statement on domestic violence and a paper on social inclusion and equality which highlighted the ways in which the government is countering violence against women and their children.

For example, the government has provided additional funding to expand the capacity of three key domestic and sexual violence crisis services. The Domestic Violence Crisis Service, the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre and the Canberra Men’s Centre will share in $250,000 to handle the current spike in demand for crisis assistance.

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