Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3125..
Question so resolved in the negative.
Standing Committee on Legal Affairs
MR STEFANIAK (12.04): I present Report 8 of the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs entitled "Victims of Crime Financial Assistance Amendment Bill 2003" together with an erratum to recommendation 2 and a copy of relevant extracts of the minutes of proceedings. I seek leave to move a motion authorising the report for publication.
MR STEFANIAK: I move:
That report 8 of the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs be authorised for publication.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
MR STEFANIAK: I move:
That the report be noted.
I will try to speak for only 10 minutes. I do not think my voice will last much longer than that. There are some significant concerns with this report-namely, the evidence to back up a number of premises that the government has in its bill. I know this is a vexed issue. The Dare report followed a review of the previous government's Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance) Amendment Bill that came in in 1999. There are some real concerns with things such as the definition of "extremely serious injury" and issues around whether there should be special categories of persons who get money for pain and suffering. Currently, victims of sexual assault and emergency services workers-namely, ambulance officers, police men and women and members of the fire brigade-get that assistance.
The government accepted a number of recommendations in the Dare report and rejected others because it had a few concerns. I will deal, firstly, with pain and suffering. Members will see that there are a number of submissions in the report. For example, the Women's Legal Centre et al emphasised that "whilst no financial sum adequately compensates a victim of crime for the emotional and psychological impact of a crime, it does give the survivor a sense that the community is aware of how they have been affected and makes a gesture of support in response". Conversely, the Department of Justice and Community Safety confirmed their written submission to us. They stated,