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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (24 September) . .

Page.. 3510..


the process of accessing financial assistance easier, more timely and more predictable for victims of crime. It removes it from the court process and makes it a less intimidating process for victims who have already suffered, in many instances, much trauma. It will also expand the category of victims who can receive financial assistance. This is particularly important to me, as the previous scheme was very narrow in its application and saw many victims of crime miss out on receiving any reasonable assistance. A proportion of the revenue will be used for set-up costs of the new scheme and make provision for the costs of a future review of the scheme. The new scheme is expected to commence in the middle of next year.

Schedule 1 of the bill includes technical amendments made under the government's technical amendment program to correct oversights and consequential amendments to implement the original policy intent of not applying the victims services levy for parking offences or offences committed under the heavy vehicle national law. This is achieved by including these offences in the list of offences excluded from the levy in schedule 2 of the Victims of Crime Regulation 2000.

The amendments in this bill are due to commence in October. Pending any necessary administrative arrangements, they will take effect in that month.

The bill will, through a modest increase to the victims services levy, assist to make significant improvements to the scheme that provides financial support for victims of crime. I thank members for their support of the bill and I commend it to the Assembly once again.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.25 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Schools—autism

MR HANSON: Madam Speaker, my question is to the minister for education. Minister, with regard to the boy in the cage inquiry, given that you have claimed that the boy in the cage inquiry was independent, how can you defend your office's involvement in deciding what parts of the key findings handout were published?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hanson for his question. The investigation was indeed independent. That report got passed to the delegate. The delegate made their decisions. That was the information which the director-general and I discussed. Clearly we discussed it. I kept on pushing the director-general to put out as much information as we could.


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