Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 24 August 2017) . . Page.. 3346 ..
Family violence crosses socioeconomic and cultural boundaries and imposes an economic burden on the whole community. One-third of women have experienced violence by someone who is known to them. One in four Australian women have experienced emotional abuse by a partner from the age of 15. The national focus on recognising and responding to family violence has created an increased demand on support services across Australia, including in the ACT. This budget provides an unprecedented commitment to improve the lives of, and safety and support for, many in our community.
Through the territory-wide safer families levy, introduced in the 2016-17 budget, we are signalling that all Canberrans have a role to play in ending family violence. This is a community problem that has a significant impact on everyone and therefore requires community awareness and consultation to deliver meaningful change. Coming to just 58c a week for a Canberra household, the levy directly assists those in perilous circumstances and supports victims of family violence. It also makes every Canberran a stakeholder in the solution. We on this side will continue to reject calls to eliminate the funding method for this levy, which provides a sustainable revenue source to act on this national problem in our community.
I commend the Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister and the Attorney-General for their leadership and foresight in this critical policy space. I am heartened by those budget measures which aim to build awareness amongst the general population and resilience amongst those experiencing family violence and amongst support and service providers in the ACT.
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.32 to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
MR COE: My question is to the Treasurer. An elderly couple, Reg, who retired as a TAFE teacher 29 years ago and celebrated his 88th birthday yesterday, and his wife Naysin, who is 84 years old and a former Cambodian refugee, have been married for 17 years and live in a unit in Braddon. Reg and Naysin this week received the rates assessment for their unit. Last year their rates were $959; this year their rates have skyrocketed by over 50 per cent to $1,464. As a second hit, Reg and Naysin were previously eligible for an $898 utilities concession. In an undated letter from the ACT Commissioner for Revenue—
Ms Fitzharris: A point of order, Madam Speaker. Again I remind members, through you, of standing order 117, that questions shall be brief.
MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you, minister. As I indicated yesterday, I will allow the question, but over the break we may have a discussion with the Clerk and members around the construction of questions, on both sides.