Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 August 2017) . . Page.. 2325 ..
doubt Mr Doszpot’s commitment to this issue. From the Greens point of view, when Mr Rattenbury was Minister for Territory and Municipal Services he strengthened the penalties around dangerous dogs. On the Labor side, the government has these regulations under review. There was recent community consultation, and I understand Minister Fitzharris will be reporting back to the Assembly on this.
I have met with Mr Doszpot about the motion and I understand that he cares deeply about this case. But I need to express my concern that we are even debating this case in the Assembly. The Assembly is a public and political place, and I do not believe we should be raking over a very tragic case involving a child in this way, particularly with the child being named. There are many tragedies every year. I believe that we should not be weighing up in this place whether or not the victim in this case or any other case is worthy of ex gratia compensation when others may apply and may also be turned down. Victims should not be subjected to the further trauma of trying to get together the majority of Assembly members to support a reprosecution of their case. This is just horrible.
I am very sorry we are debating this today, and I will not be supporting the original motion. The Greens will be supporting the government’s amendment, noting that the Treasurer has made his decision based on the criteria which I understand have been tabled in the Assembly today.
MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (10.40): I thank Mr Doszpot for bringing this motion before the Assembly today and acknowledge his contribution and those of the Chief Minister and Ms Le Couteur. I acknowledge the Hartigan family here in the chamber today, especially Jack.
I take this opportunity to highlight the ACT government’s commitment to animal welfare, the safety of people, and the safety of animals in our community and focus briefly on some of the work we are doing. As has been noted, the attack that occurred on Jack Hartigan almost seven years ago was terrible. My sympathies are with Jack and his family, but I want to let them know directly that it has prompted considerable change, including to policy, processes, the administration of Domestic Animal Services, and, notably, significant legislative change in this place last year.
We will continue to advance progress in this area. Members will remember that in March this year the Legislative Assembly passed a motion on the management of dangerous dogs in the ACT. Considerable work has been underway since this time. We have been reviewing processes and procedures in the way that the government responds to, investigates and manages a range of matters relating to dog behaviours. We have also undertaken considerable work about informing the community of their responsibilities if they are pet owners to responsibly manage their own animals. As per the Assembly’s resolution on 29 March, I have undertaken to come back to the Assembly in September outlining the improvements as well as providing updates on related animal welfare and responsible pet ownership matters.