Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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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 27 February 1990 second-readi ng speech that the purpose of these is to provi de the courts with more information in order to enable them better to assess appropriate compensation to be paid to the victim. The minister referred also to use of this information by the court when considering sentencing for the offender. 1 have difficulty with that because I be 1 i eve that a sentence shoul d be based on the gravity of the crime. How the victim copes with the crime is quite irrelevant. The sentence should reflect the gravity of the crime. A strong person may cope more easily as a victim than a less strong person. That is not relevant at all to the sentence which should be imposed on the offender. The committee will consider the need for counsell i ng and arrange for appropriate support for victims, and I think that is an excellent proposal. Also, the committee will monitor amendments to the Crimes Compensation Act, and that is another very good initiative. ' Whilst we can pass legislation in relation to these matters, we need to be able to monitor how it is being implemented and its effect on the community and those persons directly affected by it. This is a good piece of legislation which will fulfil a need in the community. I will be watching with interest to see how it is implemented, how subsequent victims of crime are compensated and how they react to the work of the committee. I support the bill. Mr COLLINS (Sadadeen): Mr Speaker, last year, I attended a prisoners aid group meeting inA 1 ice Spri ngs and I 1 earned a great deal about its work. Certainly, I agreed with many of its activities but, in discussion with some of the people afterwards, I made the point that we should be doing much more for the victims of crime than we are ,for the people who commit the crimes. We seem to have neglected the victims who have to 1 ive with the consequence of somebody's actions. I welcome the legislation. I share some of its concerns. We are looking to the future to determine what practical use this committee will be to the community. If it is not useful to the community, it will be an unwarranted burden on the Territory taxpayer. I hope that the efforts of the group will be monitored by the minister and by all members. In a couple of years time, we might have another look at it to determine whether it is of real benefit to victims of crime. I agree with the member for Koolpinyah that, in every way possible, we should ensure that the perpetrators of crime pay at least some, if not all, of the compensation to the victim. That message should be made very clear in the communi ty. Often, I be] i eve that the media does not convey such a message. If people in the community are aware that, if they commit a crime, not on ly wi 11 they be 1 i ab 1 e to recei ve puni shment but a 1 so they will be required to compensate their victim by forfeiting property or undertaking work, I am sure that will have quite a deterrent effect. This fact must be well advertised to get the message across. With those few words, I support the concept and look forward to learning how well it works for the benefit of the victims of crime. Mr TUXWORTH (Barkly): Mr Speaker, this bill is the product of the discussions which occurred in the Assembly last year relating to compensation for the victims of crime, some of whom got their just reward and others of whom did not. I would like the Attorney-General to clarify a matter for me. As I understand it, the determination of compensation for victims of crfme will still be determined in the way that it has been in the 8825

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