Page 2088 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2016

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violence in a wider culture where vulgar and violent attitudes to women are common.” We know that those attitudes are still present, that all of us are exposed to people who have those attitudes, and that we must all take responsibility to speak out when we see and hear those offensive and derogatory attitudes.

Indeed, it was only a few weeks ago, in the lead-up to the federal election, that these derogatory attitudes were on show from the Liberal senator’s campaign team. I must say that I found Senator Seselja’s response was weaker than I would have expected. In fact, he almost condoned the “boys will be boys” behaviour when he described it as “juvenile sorts of jokes”. This is actually part of the problem: people excusing sexist and inappropriate commentary as a joke. I can tell you that it is no joke, and we must use the research that shows that attitudes must change before we see family violence rates drop. It is only when we get that true cultural change in the way people talk about women and when the so-called jokes are no longer tolerated that we will see a genuine change in the culture in Australia that leads to a reduction in family violence.

We have a role as members of the community, as men, as role models for our young people, to challenge the underlying attitudes that indicate risk factors in a society for ongoing domestic violence. I will be supporting the Safer Families Levy Bill today.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Urban Renewal) (12.08), in reply: I thank members for their contribution to the debate. As I made clear on the delivery of the budget, the ACT government is pursuing urgent action for safer families in the territory.

Increasing numbers of people are reporting family violence, with devastating effects across the entire community. The government has been responding in recent years to this challenge. The safer families levy provided for by this bill will fund a range of family violence prevention measures and improve the lives of ACT families.

As recommended by the Glanfield inquiry, the Domestic Violence Prevention Council Death review and the gap analysis conducted by the Community Services Directorate, the government should ensure sufficient funds to ensure victims have access to integrated and effective services.

This levy will raise around $4.7 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year and $19.1 million over the forward estimates period. The revenue will provide funding to establish a dedicated integrated service system for responding to family violence in the ACT. This revenue is being raised as a broad-based levy to ensure that it is imposed efficiently in economic terms. It is vital, in relation to ongoing tax reform, that the government maintains its efforts to minimise and abolish revenue lines that are recognised as inefficient. The general rates base is one of the most efficient revenue lines available to governments and it is a sensible path to direct new revenue initiatives towards that base.

As I noted on budget day in June, the amendments made by this bill have been implemented administratively through a disallowable instrument since 1 July. That instrument will be revoked as the new provisions take effect.

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