Page 4047 - Week 11 - Thursday, 21 September 2017

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Thursday, 21 September 2017

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms Burch) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Personal explanation

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (10.01): I note that an article published yesterday by the Canberra Times attempts to link me with a letter that has allegedly been distributed in parts of Canberra. I wish to state on the record that I do not know who composed this letter or who has been distributing it. The letter does not mention me by name and the concerns that it raises appear to be based directly on safe schools resource materials that are freely available on the internet.

A quick Google search will reveal that the concerns shared with me by actual Canberra school students have been raised and shared by many other young people and their parents in various Australian jurisdictions. I therefore do not believe it is accurate to state that this letter has drawn on allegations made by me.

Again, I clearly state that, contrary to what the Canberra Times has sought to allege, there has been no contact between the author of this letter and either me or the Canberra Liberals.

Management of dogs

Ministerial statement

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (10.02): I am pleased to have the opportunity to report to the Assembly on the important work the government is doing to continually review the way we deal with dangerous dogs and encourage responsible pet ownership in the ACT. We understand that management of pets and other domestic animals and the laws which govern these complex issues have the potential to impact on the whole community.

The overwhelming community response to our recent community engagement on the animal management and welfare strategy confirmed that responsible pet ownership is an important issue for Canberrans. Unfortunately, I regularly receive reports about cases of people showing a lack of responsibility for their dogs which ultimately reflects a lack of respect for the rest of the Canberra community.

Dogs off their leash or not properly fenced have the potential to put other people, other animals and themselves at risk, which is why we committed to reviewing Canberra’s responsible pet ownership laws. This review has included a detailed analysis of the laws which dictate how dogs are classified and the potential consequences for people who choose not to demonstrate responsible pet ownership.

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