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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 30 March 2017) . . Page.. 1345 ..

MS FITZHARRIS: I have not done a specific word search but I think that if you were to read the draft animal welfare and management strategy, which was released for public comment yesterday—and I note that it was developed with the input of the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, RSPCA ACT, ACT Veterinary Surgeons Board and a number of other stakeholders, including across government as well as the ACT rural leaseholders—you would see that it talks about responsible pet ownership.

Implicit in that also is how we as a community set a vision and have the right regulatory legislative framework for managing animals in the territory. That would implicitly include, of course, dangerous dogs.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, why does the animal welfare and management strategy not deal with the problem of dangerous dogs?

MS FITZHARRIS: It does, and it will. In the conversation about responsible pet ownership—as we debated for nearly two hours in this place yesterday—of course we will deal with it.

Mrs Dunne: It was put out as a smokescreen.

MR PARTON: Minister, in seeking public comment on the strategy, why is the government not specifically seeking public comment on the management of dangerous dogs?

MS FITZHARRIS: Certainly as we debated in the Assembly yesterday and as I have spoken of on a number of occasions—and I will comment on Mrs Dunne’s incorrect assertion that she just made in the chamber—of course it is implicit in the fact that the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, the RSPCA ACT, and the ACT Veterinary Surgeons Board actually contributed to this draft strategy and have endorsed this draft strategy.

Mrs Dunne: That’s not what the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee does. That’s not its remit.

MS FITZHARRIS: They have a certain statutory role, but I reached out to them and asked them to contribute to the development of the strategy, which they welcomed. They contributed to it over a number of months. They then wrote to me and endorsed the strategy. It was released yesterday for public comment on the back of a motion in the Assembly where we agreed to provide further information back to the Assembly by September on legislation on regulatory arrangements and potential increases in penalties. That was passed in the Assembly just yesterday.

Government—public holiday policy

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations. Minister, what changes to Canberra’s public holidays have taken place in the past year?

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