Page 3799 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 28 October 2015

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Again this demonstrates the government’s commitment to strong animal welfare services across the territory in recognition of the social and environmental benefits that are forthcoming to the community. Work is progressing on this issue in a consultative manner with the RSPCA and AWAC, with a view to seeking further support for the proposed changes early in 2016. I am quite determined to not let this process linger. I want these reforms completed before we go into caretaker mode next year, before the Assembly finishes. My sense is that members in this place will be supportive of changes to update and improve the Animal Welfare Act. I am cognisant of the fact that there appear to be some shortcomings in the act that have been exposed by some recent cases, and I am keen to address those as soon as practicable. That is why I have the directorate working with the RSPCA and AWAC to come up with specific amendments.

Let me conclude simply by saying that I thank Ms Fitzharris for bringing forward this motion. I commend the work that the RSPCA has done in the ACT in working with the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate to progress the development of a long-term strategy for the provision of animal welfare services in the territory. This is very much a shared goal. Much work, as I have highlighted, has been undertaken by both parties. There is still quite a bit of work to do, but I expect that by the time we come back to this issue early in the new year, I will have significant updates for the Assembly, all directed towards maximising the protection of animal welfare in this city.

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (6.11), in reply: In the interests of time I will be brief. I would like to thank Mr Coe and the opposition for their support and, of course, their acknowledgement of the great work the RSPCA do here in the ACT. I thank Mr Rattenbury for his support and also for a very comprehensive update on the work that is underway on the back of a lot of discussions between the ACT government and the RSPCA and some of the work that we had undertaken in the estimates committee. It is great to hear of the collaborative work that is underway. I, too, note that in my visit to the RSPCA they explained to me that the relocation and co-location of the RSPCA premises was something that they had asked to be put on hold. They really needed time to think through a whole range of issues; indeed this very issue of some long-term planning on animal welfare services was key to that. I thank members very much for their support. I look forward to the update and hope that that collaborative work continues.

Motion agreed to.


Motion (by Mr Gentleman) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Punuku Tjukurpa art exhibition

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (6.13): Recently I had the immense pleasure of launching Punuku Tjukurpa, an Artback NT touring exhibition at the Canberra

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