Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4249 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
about the amendments before us tonight. We have an amendment which, I understand, is being supported by the Labor Party and which will exclude victims from the requirement to make a complaint to police, to report a crime that has been committed against them to the police. How are we supposed to have police chase the people who are perpetrating crimes which lead to criminal injuries compensation payments if we do not know when the crimes have been committed?
Mr Stanhope: That is being incredibly insensitive to rape victims and domestic violence victims, Mr Attorney, and you know it.
MR HUMPHRIES: I am sorry, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot insist that we prosecute more of these people and get the money out of them if, at the same time, you are saying that the victims do not need to report the crime to the police. It does not make sense, Mr Stanhope. Okay, you might be right; it might be insensitive to make that point. But you cannot in the same breath say, "You have to be pursuing these perpetrators more often. You have to be chasing the perpetrators down the street when they break the law".
Mr Speaker, the fact of the matter is that this scheme needs radical overhaul in this Territory. It is a scheme which is being widely abused. The increase in the rate of claims against the scheme vastly exceeds the increase in the rate of crime in the ACT and, clearly, it is being exploited. I do not exclude the fact that there are many victims of crime who genuinely need and obtain money under this scheme, but the focus of any good scheme has to be on rehabilitation and restoration of people to their original position. Money does not always solve those problems. Mr Speaker, I commend this legislation to the house.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
MS TUCKER (1.26 am): I move amendment No. 1 circulated in my name, which reads as follows:
Page 3, line 38, proposed new section 2, definition of "extremely serious injury", omit the definition.
This amendment is consequential to my amendment No. 3 so I will be speaking to both amendments. These amendments basically reinstate a reasonable compensation for pain and suffering as a justification for assistance. In Mr Humphries' press release of November last year he talked about better outcomes for victims and emphasised rehabilitation. In the presentation speech last year he described the Bill as focusing on