Page 3660 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 27 October 2015

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I will not seek to reiterate all those points today. But what I would say is that this bill is a good example of how, as a government and as an Assembly, we can respond to the lived experience of those who have experienced domestic and family violence. For example, the changes to the domestic violence orders scheme, the protection orders scheme, are in direct response to the lived experience of victims and the re-victimisation that can occur in circumstances where a person is seeking a civil protection order but is also pursuing the prosecution of their alleged offender through the criminal process.

This is an important reform that protects those victims from re-victimisation. It also makes sure that the law is contemporary by recognising that the act of strangulation is, regrettably, all too common in the domestic violence and family violence environment. In the act of causing strangulation, an offender will often not leave any clear visual marks on their victim and, equally, they may not seek to strangle someone to the point that they are rendered unconscious. The existing law is not adequate in this respect. The changes to the law which I have introduced today and which the Assembly is poised to support this afternoon speak to the importance of making sure our law is contemporary in responding to these circumstances.

It is worth highlighting that the protections that are proposed in this bill that deal with the capacity for people to give evidence remotely and not have to be present in court and to face directly across the court room the alleged perpetrator of the crime committed against them are important protections, again, for victims.

Finally, in relation to police records of interview, the changes to the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act are, I believe, very important. They are the same provisions that already exist in the area of sexual assault investigations. They provide for a contemporaneous record of what the complainant said and alerted police to when police first attended. They allow for those matters to be brought directly to the court and for that contemporaneous record of what occurred to be used by the court in determining guilt or innocence.

This is a very important package of reforms. I am very pleased that it is a unanimous position that is reached by the Assembly on this matter today. I thank members for their support, and I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Lotteries (Approvals) Amendment Bill 2015

Debate resumed from 24 September 2015, on motion by Ms Burch:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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