Debate resumed from 16 April; motion of Ms PULFORD (Minister for Agriculture).
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) — The Greens will be supporting this bill. We have, in fact, supported a number of bills that have sought to reform the law in this area, but I do not think we are by any means assuming that the task is necessarily complete. In fact there is a proposal before the house to set up an inquiry into this matter. I do not wish to foreshadow debate on that, but that indicates a willingness by members of this house to look closely at this area which we understand is a difficult and contested area. It is difficult for those who are trying to keep the community safe and difficult for dog owners who are caught up in the issue. It is also difficult in terms of crafting the correct set of regulations and making sure that they are enforceable.
We have before us a brief bill with really only one operative clause. It sets up, in a limited set of circumstances, a moratorium, if you like, where councils must not exercise their power to destroy a dog if that dog is a restricted breed dog. This is an area to which the Greens have paid close attention as the bill has come through the Parliament, and we have received many submissions on it. These have included submissions from people who want to see a tightening of regulations and also from those who believe the legislation is somewhat arbitrary in how it is to be enforced.
We are fully aware of the arguments that have been put forward by those numerous submissions. However, we believe that the small change that is being put forward in this legislation today would receive — —
[Speech was interrupted. Click here to view the full debate.]
Mr BARBER — Thank you for your protection, Acting President. Mr Barber is having trouble hearing Mr Barber at the moment.
I believe this legislation will receive the support of all parties in the Parliament. We will continue to follow this area closely and make the necessary improvements to legislation that we believe are required.