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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 31 July 2018) . . Page.. 2394 ..

an absolute liability offence for children under 12 and a strict liability offence for children over 12. The practical effect of this change is that the mistake of fact defence under the Criminal Code 2002 will no longer be available in relation to offences against children over the age of 12 years. Instead, someone who is accused of this offence would have to prove that they took reasonable steps to ascertain that the child was an adult, not just that they had a reasonable but mistaken belief that the child was an adult.

As has been touched on earlier in the debate, another critical change in this bill is to update terminology across the statute book, including renaming this act the Sex Work Act 1992 in order to reduce stigma which attaches to workers in this profession.

This bill enhances and modernises the regulatory framework which applies to sex workers in the territory and furthers the objects of the act to protect children from sexual exploitation, promote the welfare and occupational health and safety of sex workers, and safeguard public health.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

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 12.36 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Land—Dickson land swap

MR COE: I have a question for the Chief Minister. On 6 June I asked you a question about documents that were alleged to be missing regarding the economic development directorate’s dealings with the CFMEU regarding the land swap and the Tradies. You stated, Chief Minister:

I am not aware of an internal investigation on this matter. I will seek advice from the directorate. It is not my directorate, as the Leader of the Opposition would be aware.

Chief Minister, why did you claim that your directorate was not responsible for this land swap?

MR BARR: I did not. The Leader of the Opposition has misinterpreted my answer.

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