Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 27 February 1990 Mr MANZIE: Mr Speaker, this committee will provide advice regarding the victims of crime. The member for Barkly asserted that this legislation was brought about because of the crime victims legislation last year. I refer him to a speech I made in the House in February 1989 in which I foreshadowed this legislation. I refer him also to my second-reading speech in which I referred to that speech in February last year foreshadowing this legislation and the reasons for it. If he reads those remarks, he might understand a little more about this. However, we are all aware of the total lack of understanding by the member for Barkly of anything. We have all had first-hand experience, unfortunately, of his total lack of any understanding in depth of anything. This advisory committee will provide advice to government in relation to the problems of victims of crime. Contrary to the assertions of the member for MacDonnell that, somehow-or other, I should be ashamed of following some of the practices introduced in South Australia, I have no compunction about saying that what has occurred in South Australia is very good. I think it is something that could have occurred in the rest of Australia though, unfortunately, it has not. I have no qualms about picking up innovations in other areas of Australia and overseas which will help the government provide assistance to victims of crime in any way whatsoever. This is one means that will provide some assistance. It is a mechanism which will enable people to look at the problems and provide advice. It will allow me to refer problems that may arise regarding crime victims and to obtain some advice on administrative or legislative ways of providing some assistance to them. As the member for Koolpinyah said, the system has forgotten the victims of crime. We worry about the well-being of the offender and all the other things she mentioned, but the system has forgotten victims and it is time that we rectified that. In the Terri tory, we have quite a good record. A 1 though thi s 1 egi slat i on wi 11 assist, it is not a panacea. We did not need to have a legislative base for the committee. However, the idea is to ensure, first of all, that the matter is treated importantly and to give members the ability to contribute positively in debate regarding the matter. I thank some members for their comments and their input. I can assure honourable members that, most certainly, the committee will take note of the report of the National Committee on Violence that was tab 1 ed in the House thi s morni ng. Of course it will, but that is not the be-all and end-all and it is certainly not totally relevant to the Territory ina 11 its aspects or in respect of future happen i ngs. There must be some dynamic institution that can keep abreast of what is happening to ensure that we are not static in our reactions. The victim impact statement will be a priority of the committee. Mrs Padgham-Purich: Change that term. It sounds terrible. Mr MANZIE: It does sound terrible. However, it is a provision that will allow victims to be able to supply information to the courts regarding the effect and the impact which crimes have had upon them. That is something that does not happen at the moment. Mrs Padgham-Purich: Call it something else. Mr MANZIE: If any member can come up with another descriptive term, I certainly am not averse to taking that on board. 8827
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