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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 2010) . . Page.. 3439 ..

What we have here is an effective and efficient way of assisting victims of crime to resolve concerns that they may have with non-compliance with the principles of the new act. Of course, it would be naive to think that there may not be other more serious complaints that victims of crime will need to raise. Therefore, to complement the reforms I have already outlined, a victim of crime or the commissioner will have the power to formally refer complaints to the relevant complaints entity, either the Ombudsman, the health services commission or any other entity authorised under the act.

A relevant complaints entity will then be able to use their current complaints and investigation processes, where warranted, to investigate the complaint. It is anticipated that the Ombudsman might work with the Victims Advisory Board, which is established by these amendments and which has been discussed earlier, to develop an education campaign to ensure that all victims of crime are aware of the new complaints process and are encouraged to seek redress through it.

Through this combination of mechanisms and by recognising the skills and functions of various agencies, we will create through these reforms a more transparent and robust complaints and investigation regime that will support victims of crime involved in the administration of justice to address and resolve their concerns.

In closing, I would like to thank the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety for their recently released scrutiny report 25. In the report, the committee provided comments on the bill and, in particular, raised a concern over the construction of the proposed secrecy provision in the bill and its Human Rights Act compatibility. As a result of that, I have taken on board the committee’s comments and will be moving a minor amendment with respect to proposed section 29(4). I would like to thank the committee for their comments.

This bill is an important reform, one that moves the interests of victims of crime forward, that gives them more effective tools to have their complaints dealt with and that places a greater onus on criminal justice agencies to respond to their concerns, to engage with them, to treat them with respect and to give them the information and assistance that they need. Those are worthwhile reforms, and I am pleased to commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 9, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 10.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.38): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 3450]. This amendment goes some way to allaying the concerns that I and others have had about the potential conflict of interest that this bill

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