Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017



Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017

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Parliamentary Record 5


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




pp 1623 to 1686


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Tuesday 9 May 2017 1628 Although quite technical in nature relating to legislation and the ability to share information, this is a very important piece of legislation, just as important as this governments $45m commitment for a safer Northern Territory, which includes a clinical core policing system. We acknowledge that those working in this space, our police officers and those involved in court processes, have a tough job to do. As a government we want to support them not only through providing resources through Budget 201718, but also through legislation. This is almost a housekeeping piece of legislation. None of the amendments raise any significant policy issues, but nonetheless it is an important piece of legislation. All the other states and territories have also agreed to enact the legislation. I think it was spoken about by the other members in debate that New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have made the consequential amendments reflecting the merger. This piece of legislation ensures that the Northern Territory does its part. Madam Speaker, I commend the bill to the Assembly. Motion agreed to; bill read a second time. Ms FYLES (Attorney-General and Justice) (by leave): Madam Speaker, I move that the bill be now read a third time. Motion agreed to; bill read a third time. LIMITATION AMENDMENT (CHILD ABUSE) BILL (Serial 16) Continued from 15 March 2017. Mrs FINOCCHIARO (Spillett): Madam Speaker, the Limitation Amendment (Child Abuse) Bill removes the limitation period that applies to civil claims for damages resulting from child abuse. The opposition supports this bill. Currently the limitation period on civil claims, which is the time limit within which legal proceedings must be commenced for child abuse actions, is set out in the Limitation Act. The limit is set at three years, which in the case of a minor would be when the person turns 18 years of age. The Limitation Amendment (Child Abuse) Bill will remove this limitation period altogether, meaning victims of child abuse will be able to bring a civil claim for damages resulting from the abuse when they are comfortable and able to do so, regardless of how long ago the incidents giving rise to the course of action occurred. These amendments originated from recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse 2015. Hereafter, I will refer to it as the Royal Commission. The Royal Commission made a number of findings, and based on these the following recommendations for legislative changes: 1. State and territory governments should introduce legislation to remove any limitation period that applies to a claim for damages brought by a person where that claim is founded on the personal injury of the person resulting from sexual abuse of the person in an institutional context when the person is or was a child. 2. State and territory governments should ensure that the limitation period is removed with retrospective effect and regardless of whether or not a claim was subject to a limitation period in the past. 3. State and territory governments should expressly preserve the relevant courts existing jurisdictions and powers so that any jurisdiction or power to stay proceedings is not affected by the removal of the limitation period. 4. State and territory governments should implement these recommendations to remove limitation periods as soon as possible, even if that requires that they be implemented before the Royal

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