Page 5418 - Week 14 - Thursday, 30 November 2017

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committed to housing and housing affordability targets; we have held a summit; we are having a big conversation with the community; we have implemented an innovation fund.

Opportunity members interjecting—

MS BERRY: We are not selling off our public housing. The last time the Liberal Party were in power, they sold off 1,000 public housing dwellings. That is not the ACT government’s commitment. We will continue to hold the highest proportion of public housing per capita in the country, something that we are very proud of and that we will continue to maintain.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse—government response

MS CHEYNE: Madam Speaker, I note that you are in a slightly generous mood. I just wanted your indulgence for a moment to acknowledge that this is the Deputy Clerk’s final question time, I believe. I want to thank him for all his work and support and, indeed, patience, particularly during this hour of the day.

MADAM SPEAKER: Your question, Ms Cheyne. My generosity goes only so far.

MS CHEYNE: Back on track. My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, what steps is the government taking in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question. The work of the royal commission has been thorough and evidence based and it has focused on the experience of survivors. It absolutely crosses many portfolios. This government is committed to a whole-of-government focus on supporting survivors of sexual abuse. The latest report focused on criminal justice and made 85 recommendations for reform.

Survivors of child sexual abuse are entitled to a fair hearing in court. And it is important that misconceptions about psychology and cultural prejudices do not affect the outcomes. Our system must be able to work with the way that people who have experienced these most traumatic circumstances actually respond. The royal commission has made recommendations for law reform that are based on the latest evidence about how survivors’ testimony, and how their experiences, can be treated fairly in a criminal trial. We will be looking closely at each of those recommendations for changes that need to be made in the ACT’s legislation.

There is strong support in the justice system for implementing change in response to these findings. In particular the government has been looking to the Director of Public Prosecutions for law reform recommendations, based on that office’s experiences in prosecuting these crimes. We are also consulting with Legal Aid ACT, who often act for people who are survivors of abuse. This government will keep working throughout the coming year to implement the royal commission’s recommendations and to ensure that justice is accessible for all survivors in the territory.

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