Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 November 2017) . . Page.. 5272 ..
Mr Doszpot, I am sure, would be relieved to see the passage of this legislation. The test will be in the enforcement and in making sure that where we have removed discretion that is actually carried out properly and, where there is discretion, a common-sense approach is applied by the registrar and by other officers, including rangers. I thank members for the passage of this legislation, which is imminent.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.19), by leave: I want to thank Mr Coe for bringing this legislation forward on behalf of the late Mr Doszpot and the opposition. It is difficult to legislate from opposition. I am sure that, if Steve is looking down on us today, he would be very proud of your fight on every clause. It was tenacious and certainly in the spirit of Steve Doszpot. Although a number of the amendments are disappointing, it is still an important win. I thank all members of the Assembly for engaging in this debate in such a constructive manner.
The issue of dangerous dogs is well and truly on the table. I sincerely hope now that the government takes this legislation forward and that it makes the real difference to community safety that Steve Doszpot thought that it would. I see nodding from officials in the gallery. I commend this legislation to the Assembly.
MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (4.20), by leave: I would like to reiterate my thanks, first and foremost, to the late Steve Doszpot, of course. I know that it is something we had many discussions about. As has been reflected on over the past month or so, it is a real tribute to his tenacity and passion. When he got his teeth into something, you had to work with him. I enjoyed doing that on a number of things in this Assembly but particularly on this.
It has been a long debate. I thank everyone for their input and their discussion. I certainly appreciate that it was done quickly within the chamber. It was our intention to have this legislation passed this year. It is something that I committed to and something that I wanted to make sure that we achieved. I think we have.
Where there have been some perceived differences between us and the opposition, I hope that over time they will see that within this legislation that has now been passed there are some 30 clauses throughout the amendments that prioritise community safety. The onus has fundamentally shifted. The community has very clearly told the government and the Assembly that this is an important issue, one that we have all worked hard to raise awareness of. We think that there will be a step change in culture, in the legislation, of course, and indeed in the enforcement. It is not just in the additional rangers but in a fundamental shift in our approach.
I would like to make particular mention of all of those people in the chamber who worked daily on this issue. I refer to the range of input that I have received from the community, as well as from those people who are on the front line doing extremely difficult work, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, responding to the huge variety of incidents. I took it on myself; it is my responsibility to understand that broad range.