Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — I would like to mark that today is the anniversary of the implementation of the safe access zones in Victoria. The zones provide a buffer zone against the harassment of clients around the premises offering reproductive health services. In just 12 months it has been a great success. Staff at the clinics report that there is no further harassment of themselves or their clients, who are often seeking the services of the clinics in very, very difficult situations. That harassment and violence has ceased.
The purported challenges that were to be made to this legislation did not come to pass. The freedom of speech that was going to be quashed did not come to pass. People are still expressing their views and their opinions on these reproductive health services; they are still out the back of Parliament House expressing those views vocally and in a respectful manner. Despite the late-night debates, freedom of speech in this state still exists. Those late-night debates raised issues of blimps carrying messages around reproductive rights; we still have not seen those blimps. None of them have been charged under this legislation. There were those chats in the surrounding flats that were going to get caught by this legislation; I am pleased to say that none of that happened. Those people are still speaking freely in their flats. The blimps still may be going across Wellington Parade for all I know, but the police have certainly not been interested.