Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4271 ..
The Assembly voted -
AYES, 8 NOES, 9 Mr Berry Ms Carnell Mr Corbell Mr Cornwell Mr Hargreaves Mr Hird Mr Kaine Mr Humphries Mr Quinlan Mr Moore Mr Stanhope Mr Osborne Ms Tucker Mr Rugendyke Mr Wood Mr Smyth Mr Stefaniak
Question so resolved in the negative.
Amendments (Mr Rugendyke's ) agreed to.
MS TUCKER (2.49 am): I ask for leave to move amendment No. 4B circulated in my name.
MS TUCKER: I move:
Page 9, line 18, proposed new paragraph 10(2)(b), omit the paragraph.
This amendment effectively removes the compulsion for victims of crime to use the victims support service. It puts into effect another recommendation in the Justice and Community Safety Committee's report. Almost every major contributor to the working party report and the committee's report affirmed the value of a victims support service or services and access to a range of health and counselling services. Legal, medical and social advice can be crucial in the rehabilitation of victims when they choose to use such services.
The Government must be commended for seeking to provide such a service. However, there is no reason to compel victims to use the service. The working party, in its proposals and discussions, emphasised the importance for victims to choose the support services they require. The preferred model the working party proposed was for a mix of government and community services. National and international research universally identifies the individual nature of victim requirements. It draws attention to the importance of informal support, the availability of a number of options for victims and the necessity to afford them autonomy, dignity and information as they require it.
Compulsion to use the victims support service is patronising and high-handed. It is the product of minds that presume anyone who is unwilling to front up is simply out to rort the system. There is no evidence that this is the case. More to the point, such a tactic may well have entirely the wrong outcome. The committee quoted Professor E. Fattah as saying: