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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 November 2017) . . Page.. 5239 ..

ACT government paid the vet to treat the dog for its injuries and then return the dog to its owner. In October this same dog attacked its owner, killing her and injuring another person before being shot by police. Why did the government return this dangerous dog to its owner in August?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mr Coe for his question and note, of course, the terrible incident that occurred in October. It is also my understanding that Mr Coe was briefed on that event; he was also briefed on the fact that, on advice from authorities, this is a matter that is subject to a coronial investigation and that the prior incident is linked to Mrs Klemke’s death in October. He was subsequently reminded that these matters are subject to a coronial investigation. I am not in a position to answer those questions because of that, and I am disappointed that Mr Coe would seek to raise these matters in this way on this day, simply, I think, for political gain, when he has been told on a number of occasions that these are subject to a coronial—

Opposition members interjecting

MS FITZHARRIS: Mr Coe has a couple of the facts, but he by no means has all of the facts; neither do I. Those facts will be gathered in the course of the coronial investigation. I caution Mr Coe on seeking to make political gain out of such a tragic event when he has a small fraction of the facts, and he has been reminded—and I remind him here again today.

MADAM SPEAKER: Before you go to your supplementary, Mr Coe, I will refer you to the standing orders and continuing resolution on sub judice:

For the purposes of this resolution matters before a Coroner’s court shall be treated as matters within paragraph (1) (a)…

I ask you to be very mindful.

MR COE: On the point of order first, if I may, Madam Speaker, the attack that was referred to the coroner was in October, and we are talking about events two months earlier. Whilst the minister may claim that the event two months earlier is before the coroner, I do not know how she would know that. We in the opposition certainly do not know what issues are before the coroner with regard to the death of that person.

With regard to my supplementary, minister, why did your office take numerous questions on notice during that briefing, yet still not get back to my office some five weeks later?

MS FITZHARRIS: On the point of order, it is my understanding that as part of the investigation into the incident, the police investigation is considering the prior event, and that has been referred to the coroner. I note that a number of those questions that were taken on notice could not be answered for the same reason. That is why—

Mr Coe: A number? All of them?

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