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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4264 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

But we as an Assembly think there is one small group of our fellow citizens so far above the rest of us in their need to be protected by the Assembly and the community. They are the only group of people entitled to this degree of care and attention and potentially monetary recompense. Well, this is an awful principle that we divide the community up into a hierarchy of victims. We create an elite of only certain people who are entitled to this sort of compensation and this care. This is an appalling principle. It is truly awful what is being proposed here.

MS TUCKER (2.21 am): I move the following amendment to Mr Rugendyke's amendment No. 2:

Page 9, line 12, after proposed new paragraph 10 (1) (e), insert the following paragraph:

"(ea) if the criminal injury was sustained as a result of a violent crime consisting of conduct constituting domestic violence under the Domestic Violence Act 1986-special assistance by way of reasonable compensation for pain and suffering in an amount of no more than $50,000;".

I am trying to salvage to some degree the iniquitous situation that is being created by the Liberals and Mr Rugendyke and Mr Osborne tonight. I would prefer my amendment No. 2 to get up because it will address it in a more general way. But I am doing it in these two sections in the hope that Mr Osborne and Mr Rugendyke and the Government therefore might at least deal with the issue of domestic violence if they are choosing to deal with the issue of sexual assault. That is what this amendment is about.

It is including not just the group of sexual assault victims, as Mr Rugendyke has chosen to proclaim, needing particular special attention, but also giving the same attention to those people who are victims of domestic violence. They are mostly women who are victims of domestic violence. I am very interested to hear an argument for the rationale of Mr Rugendyke to make this decision to only choose sexual assault victims. I will sit down now so that we can be enlightened on it.

MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety) (2.23 am): Mr Speaker, I think there are some people here who misunderstand what actually happens with criminal injuries compensation in the ACT. People seem to - - -

Mr Quinlan: I do not think we misunderstand what happens here.

MR HUMPHRIES: Hear me out please and you will hear what the argument is. People claim, as Mr Stanhope just claimed, that people under these proposals to restrict access to cash payments are to miss out on their entitlements. Victims are to be left by the roadside in this wild dash by the Government.

Mr Quinlan: Explain the elite group.

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