Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 November 2007) . . Page.. 3547 ..
many of the ACT’s acts and legislative instruments in line with the amendments required under the Legislation Act. Again I and my office thank you for the detailed content of the explanatory statement to this bill, which I will be supporting.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.12), in reply: I thank opposition and crossbench members for their support of this bill. As members have noted, this is simply part of the ongoing yet important work of revising the ACT statute book to ensure that it remains contemporary, up to date and accurate. The amendments provided for in this amendment bill are certainly non-controversial. The Leader of the Opposition has indicated the range of issues that are considered by this legislation and I thank members for their ongoing support for this program.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Sitting suspended from 11.13 am to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
Children—sexual assault cases
MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, the Canberra Times last Saturday reported, in a story headed “Call for law reform as child made to testify”, that you “expressed enormous sympathy” for a seven-year-old girl called to give evidence at a trial over an alleged sexual assault. The story also noted that other jurisdictions in Australia did not require child victims to give evidence more than once and that pre-recorded interviews are admissible in court. I understand in this case too that both the defence and the prosecution were happy to have a pre-recorded interview tendered but that that was deemed impossible.
Minister, you have also recently announced some reform measures in this area, and those were widely lauded, including by me. Unfortunately, the reforms did not include any immediate reform to the giving of evidence by victims, despite the police and the DPP bringing this problem to the attention of the government in March 2005.
Attorney, there have been a number of cases in court this year highlighting the problem of victims of alleged sexual assault having to give evidence more than once. Given that other jurisdictions have already amended their laws in this area, why can’t you?
MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Stefaniak for the question. This government has been proactive on the issue of addressing the level of support available to victims of crime insofar as it relates to sexual assault. The government has made very clear what its approach will be on this matter. We are committed to significant law reform to