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Royal Commission - National Redress Scheme


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Tags: National Redress Scheme, Child Abuse

Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

Recommendation 88 of the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was that, 'State and territory governments should implement these recommendations to remove limitation periods as soon as possible'.

The Limitation Amendment Act 2017 has yet to be proclaimed, prolonging the trauma of survivors of child sexual abuse. ABC News last night told the wrenching story of Tasmania abuse survivor, Pamela, who is begging your Government to sign up to the National Redress Scheme. At the same time you are failing to proclaim this legislation and failing to commit to redress, your Government has re-tabled the Sentencing Amendment (Mandatory Sentencing for Serious Sexual Offences Against Children) Bill 2018, which is identical to the bill that was blocked by the upper House last year.

Will you stop pursuing your flawed populist agenda and instead focus on implementing the recommendations of the royal commission and experts on matters of child sexual abuse? On behalf of survivors, we ask when will your Government proclaim the Limitations Amendment Act of 2017?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the question, which conflated a number of issues into one and again, typically and sadly, has diminished an important national reform that goes to supporting victims of abuse which this Government has said from a very early stage we would be looking to involve our state in, noting that Tasmania was one state that took the initiative some years ago to provide an ex gratia scheme of support for the victims of abuse who were placed into the care of this state. That, along with how it could best be determined that any survivor of abuse could be effectively captured in a national redress scheme, was a matter that required careful attention by this Government. It was also a matter raised by the Leader of the Greens, who expressed some reservations about the structure of the national redress scheme and urged caution with respect to signing up to it.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. I feel that the Premier has misrepresented me.

Mr HODGMAN - I am not talking about you, I am talking about your national leader, who was understandably expressing not reservations, but wanting to be assured that the national scheme would effectively capture those people it is intended to support.

In relation to the Limitations Act, as we have always said, proclamation of that legislation would coincide with any commencement of a redress scheme to ensure that survivors were offered a choice of recourse. It is much more complicated and complex than the member is suggesting. The Attorney-General, who later today will be outlining our response to this matter and indeed the national redress scheme, will touch on a number of these.

With respect to mandatory sentencing, we will not resile from our commitment to ensure that people who commit horrendous crimes against young children will be subject to jail. We will not resile from our commitment to ensure that those in our community who work to protect us get the protection of laws.

I note, in passing and as a matter of interest, that the Victorian Labor government is also looking to move into this space as well and show that at least the Labor Party in Victoria puts victims first, as opposed to the Labor-Greens position here which seeks to give offenders a 'get out of jail free' card.