Page 3613 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 27 October 2015

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as I reflected earlier in my speech, that there is effective law reform that achieves the objectives of the bill and does not inadvertently cause other issues.

There are a number of issues that they have raised with me—and, as I understand it, with the JACS directorate—relating to the provision of audio-only recorded statements. The society is of the view that recorded statements intended to be used as evidence in chief should be only audiovisual recordings. In relation to the making of recorded statements by police officers, they make the point that those officers should be trained specifically in the rules of evidence. With regard to timely access arrangements, the society believes it is important that the defence receives the recorded material in sufficient time to enable the material to be reviewed and edited if required. The society supports the provision of recorded statements to the defence within 21 days of the matter first being before a court.

We have heard from domestic violence groups that they support these changes. We considered whether, on balance, there was a need for amendments. It is very difficult to get that balance right. What I would say on these matters is that it is important that the government note them. We will continue to monitor their operation. I think the government needs to be aware that we need to stay alive to these law reforms as they occur to make sure that there are no unintended consequences.

There are also amendments to the Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act 2008 to create a new category of interim domestic violence order, a special interim order to allow the interim DVO to be extended until related criminal charges have been determined by a criminal court. Under the arrangements a court may extend an interim DVO for longer than two years if domestic violence criminal charges are still before the court.

These amendments engage and support the rights in criminal proceedings for an accused who also has a DVO pending in relation to these proceedings. Again, understanding the desired intent of what is being intended to be achieved, we have received commentary from the Bar Association raising some concerns in this area. I will quote from correspondence:

Extending DV orders pending charges—without determination of the merits of the case lengthy interim orders without capacity for review and whether the order should continue. What this means is that a person can end up with protection order being in place in excess of a year and without the capacity to a review—impacting on the fairness and justice.

These are concerns, again, that have been raised. As they are similar to the concerns raised by the Law Society, I ask that the government take note of these and make sure that as these laws come into effect that is monitored. Again, there should be the flexibility to come back into this place at a later date if necessary, with further amendments to make that more workable if it is the case that the problems anticipated by the Bar Association are realised. Certainly we will stay live to this debate.

However, we have no argument with the intent, Madam Speaker. I think that there is a view that this community needs to do what it can to protect victims. We as legislators have an important role to play. We have a very important role to play to protect the

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