Page 553 - Week 02 - Thursday, 16 February 2017

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The final examples of how this bill helps victims that I will discuss today are about the administration of the domestic violence and protection orders schemes overall. The Family Violence Act 2016 has provisions to support the automatic national recognition of family violence orders. The national domestic violence order scheme will allow orders to be recognised and enforced across the country. The scheme will remove the need for a protected person to register their order in multiple jurisdictions to ensure that it can be enforced.

Currently these provisions will commence on 1 May 2017. States and territories participating in the national domestic violence order scheme will now commence their respective laws on the same date to ensure consistency. This will support the effective implementation of the scheme and support certainty and clarity for stakeholders and the community. The ACT is actively working with other jurisdictions towards a national commencement date in late 2017. The amendments allow the provisions to be commenced by ministerial notice to ensure that all administrative arrangements required to support the effective operation of the scheme have been established in all participating jurisdictions.

The bill also resolves procedural issues which have been replicated from the Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Act 2008. For example, under the current processes time frames are overly restrictive where a person against whom an order is sought is interstate. The timing requirement for when a hearing must occur can result in the person seeking protection attending court only for the matter to be adjourned to a later date, after the documents have been served. The bill amends time frames relating to the hearing of protection orders to allow the courts to manage effective responses to family and personal violence.

Taken together, these amendments are a demonstration of the ACT’s whole-of-system approach to service. This legislation enables the courts to focus on supporting people, and it is a reaffirmation to people who are experiencing domestic and family violence that we are listening and that we will do everything we can to help them.

Madam Speaker, I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Kikkert) adjourned to the next sitting.

Co-operatives National Law (ACT) Bill 2017

Mr Rattenbury, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (10.22): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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