Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 August 2017) . . Page.. 2328 ..
city, volleyball courts and a whole range of things. If you look in the budget there are millions and millions of dollars spent and grants totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars on a regular basis. But this government cannot find the compassion to compensate for this terrible act that has prompted changes. They are good changes that I hope will stop this sort of thing in the future, but a person who, through no fault of his own, has been the victim of a terrible attack that prompted this whole range of changes is going to be ignored by this government when this government could act with compassion.
Shame on the Labor Party. Shame on the Greens. Mr Doszpot, I am sure you will not be letting go of this matter. I urge you to continue with this fight, and I congratulate you for bringing this important motion before the Assembly today.
MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (10.52): I had not intended to contribute to this debate because I knew that Mr Doszpot and Mr Hanson had the bases covered, but I want to respond to Ms Le Couteur’s contribution where she said that it was wrong to bring this issue before the Assembly. She said, in effect, that it was wrong for us to air the concerns of this family and discuss the public safety of children, families and people in our community.
That is an outrageous thing to hear from a member of the Assembly. It is absolutely wrong that a member of this place would, in effect, rebuke another member of this place for talking about the welfare of a child who was mauled by two dogs in a public housing property despite the fact that concerns had been flagged about those dangerous animals. Somehow it is wrong for the opposition to raise this issue. I think that is absolutely outrageous.
I too, met the family for the first time about half an hour ago. I have not discussed this issue with them at all, but I bet it is not their intention or their wish to have this matter fought out here either. I bet it was their intention and their wish to have had this resolved in private months ago. But this government is not playing ball. This government is not considering the welfare of the family. This is the last resort. After going through the courts and exposing the deficiencies in our legislation, we are now in the chamber because this is their last hope. Coming before the lawmakers of the Assembly like this right now is the last hope for this family it seems. Then to have a member of this place say it is irresponsible to talk in this chamber about their welfare is reprehensible. It is absolutely wrong.
Mr Doszpot has done the right thing in rasing this issue in the Assembly today. It is interesting that the two parties that wave the social justice banner the most are the two parties that are ganging up today against a fair and reasonable outcome. Society’s expectations are not met in the laws that are in place right now, and Ms Fitzharris has admitted that. Deficiencies have been outlined even in the judge’s judgment. And that is the very reason that you have ex gratia payments: where there is a gap between society’s expectations and the laws of the land as they currently are constituted.
It is not for the Treasurer to outsource his personal judgement to public servants. Yes, he should seek advice, but the reason that the decision falls upon the Treasurer is