Page 1126 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 28 March 2017

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applying for a protection order. From the victim’s perspective, whether applying for a protection order is a criminal or civil matter does not make much difference. We know that what they want and what they need is protection. This amendment will make it easier for a victim to seek such protection without having to repeat their story. This amendment is simply the right thing to do.

I welcome also the national domestic violence order scheme, which will allow orders to be recognised across jurisdictions, and look forward to the national commencement date for this important amendment. We need reassurance that a person in Canberra with a protection order can be protected in Queanbeyan or Goulburn without having to separately apply for protection in New South Wales.

The further amendments to procedural issues in the Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Act are also supported by the Greens because the system needs to consider the safety of the victims, balanced, of course, with the right to a fair trial.

The numerous additional amendments, although minor in nature, combine to strengthen overall the family and personal violence legislation and demonstrate that great effort has been made to ensure that the cracks and loopholes are considered and, where possible, have been minimised or removed.

I congratulate the minister and the ACT government for introducing this legislation. The Greens thank the ongoing efforts of the Justice and Community Safety Directorate, the scrutiny committee in relation to their work on the bill and all who have worked on the revision and amendment of such important legislation. We will be a better city because of it.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (11.49): I am happy to support the Family and Personal Violence Legislation Amendment Bill 2017. The bill supports the very important reforms that have been set out in the Family Violence Act and the Personal Violence Act. The family and personal violence acts will commence on 1 May this year. This bill streamlines the processes set out in those acts to make them easier and clearer for victims of family and personal violence who are seeking to access protection orders.

The Family Violence Act establishes the legal framework for the protection of people from domestic, family and sexual violence by implementing 22 key recommendations made in the joint report of the Australian Law Reform Commission and the New South Wales Law Reform Commission titled Family Violence—A National Legal Response.

These reforms include the introduction of the preamble, which explains the nature, features and dynamics of family violence. The Family Violence Act also expands the definition of family violence to expressly include a broad range of behaviours, including emotional, psychological and economic abuse.

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