Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 August 2017) . . Page.. 2766 ..
Making the non-consensual sharing, threatening to share or threatening to capture intimate images a crime is a really positive step for our community. I hope to see other states and territories adopting similar measures.
Once again, I commend and thank Mr Hanson for bringing this bill forward. It is a really important step. I also commend him for the way he has worked with the government and the Greens to get improvements to make it an even better bill. I am very grateful that everyone is supporting this bill today. Thank you once again to the shadow attorney-general.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (11.41), in reply: At the outset I would like to thank the government and the Greens for their support of this important piece of legislation. It genuinely is a team effort. No doubt we would all want to take the credit, but I acknowledge that this is genuinely a team effort that we have achieved in the Assembly today.
I thank Mr Gentleman, speaking on behalf of the Attorney-General. I also acknowledge the Attorney-General’s efforts in this regard, as well as those of Ms Le Couteur, Ms Berry and Ms Lawder. I also note that it was Ms Lawder who brought this to my attention and provided me with significant background information, so I particularly thank her for the role that she has played within the opposition to get to this point.
The government will be tabling a number of amendments to the bill. These have been negotiated through a very good process that has broadly been between the government and the opposition but it has involved the Greens as well. Just as the government will be supporting this bill in principle, we will be supporting the amendments.
If I can go to the history, this is a bill that seeks to do one thing, and to do it well: to put onto our statute books the tools to deal with a 21st century problem, that is, intimate image abuse. This bill was first presented as an exposure draft and placed on the legislation register on 18 May this year. When it was presented it was based on the Victorian model because that was one of only two operational laws in Australia at the time. But in the intervening period New South Wales also tabled a bill to address the same problem. We subsequently adapted ours to be more consistent with New South Wales, which I think in general is a better principle. There was also the advantage of the extended development process that we have sought to learn from.
I note that in her speech Ms Le Couteur talked about other provisions that were in her exposure draft and in her bill. She is now intending to bring it in as a separate piece of legislation. I think it is good that we are dealing with this as a specific offence and not trying to broaden it out. There are complex issues relating to some of the provisions in Ms Le Couteur’s exposure draft and in her bill which would have made it problematic to get to this point today. I think it is the right approach to deal with this as an issue that is separate; then, if Ms Le Couteur wants to bring on other issues to do with consent, onus of proof and so on, they can be dealt with separately. I do not think that, at this stage, they would enjoy the same level of tripartisan support and they would have muddied the issue. So I thank Ms Le Couteur for essentially dropping those for now, and we will deal with them subsequently.