Page 3508 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 September 2015

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In this territory, anyone who is the victim of a crime is eligible for some support through the government agency Victim Support ACT. Victim Support ACT supports victims in a variety of ways. Victims of non-violent crimes are provided with up to two hours of support. Victims of violent crimes may also be entitled to more extensive levels of service depending on the impact the crime has had and the level of support they need. The support services available include information about wellbeing in the criminal justice system, in-house counselling or counselling in the community, support to protect the rights of a victim of crime, support to make an application to the financial assistance scheme, referrals to organisations that may be able to provide additional support and so on.

The bill before us provides increased funding from the offenders to help pay for some of those services and to make financial compensations. The current levy is modest and is imposed by the court. The bill in essence raises the victims of crime levy from $30 to $40. The levy is in addition to the penalties imposed for a particular offence. There are other minor parts of the bill that capture some missed offences. The level is appropriately imposed on traffic offences and, appropriately in my view, is not levied on parking offences. The increased levy will provide funding for the victims of crime financial assistance scheme. The government has already included the additional funds in its 2015-16 budget.

The scrutiny of bills committee reviewed the bill in report No 36 of 15 September and had no comment.

I note that this bill is supported by the Victims of Crime Commissioner. I am pleased to see that the passage of this bill will provide additional support for the important work of the commissioner.

In conclusion, we support this legislation. I commend the government and the Attorney-General for bringing this before the Assembly today.


MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Dr Bourke): I welcome to the chamber the certificate III students from the adult migrant English program at Navitas college.

Victims of Crime (Victims Services Levy) Amendment Bill 2015

Debate resumed.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (12.19): This bill proposes to increase the victims services levy from $30 to $40 and I intend to support the bill today. There is nothing complicated or controversial in the actual bill itself. The question is simply whether the Assembly supports increasing this levy. I note that in 2013 the Assembly agreed to increase the victims of crime levy from $10 to $30, and I support increasing the levy by a further $10.

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