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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 The other thing that I would like to let honourable members know is that there is nothing to stop the committee having victims come before it and speak about their problems. Certainly, I believe that, in some circumstances, that wou19 be most appropriate. With regard to the membership of the committee, we have made provi sion to put ordinary people on the committee and we will be ensuring that there is ... Mrs Padgham-Purich: Only 2. Mr MANZIE: It is still appropriate, because the sort of people we have involved are the people who provide some of the services or who are in a position to provide services that may be needed. I would like to indicate to honourable members that, following the passage of this legislation, it is my intention to appoint Professor Ronald Penny to head the new Crime Victims Advisory Committee. For the benefit of honourable members, Professor Penny is the Associate Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Arts, and the Associate Professor Psychology at the Northern Territory University. He is an expert in developmental psychology, but he has also specialised in the psychological effects of stress and trauma on human development. He holds a strong conviction, which I share, that victims of crime are the criminal justice system's forgotten responsibility. He had active involvement with victims while he was Acting Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Curtin University and he had contact there with the American psychologist, Dr Robert Reiff. He was actually involved in the 6 months work that Dr Reiff, who is the author of the widely acclaimed 'The Invisible Victim', undertook at that uni vers ity. That book is a result of prolonged studi es into post-traumatic experiences of victims of crime. Professor Penny has contacts with all areas of Australia and has had close contact with the studies done on the victims of the Hoddle Street massacre. I bel i eve that Professor Penny i s well qual i fi ed to act as chairman, and I am very pleased that he has accepted an offer to become the chairman of the committee. I bel ieve he will play quite an effective role in ensuring that we can provide support services for victims of crime that are relevant and that we can improve those support services. This is no magic panacea. Indeed, there is no such thing as a magic panacea. Always, we have to be mindful of the problems that victims have. We have to remember them. We have to start moving resources away from looking after the perpetrators of crime and look to providing meaningful assistance to victims. We will never be able to fill the void that is there, but I think that the fact that we are aware that there are problems in that area, and that we have mechanisms through which to try to keep abreast of the services that are either needed or required and to coordinate those services, is something that is positive. As I said earlier, I do not resile from copying any system that has, been proved to be effective elsewhere in Australia. Mr Speaker, I commend the bill to honourable members. Motion agreed to; bill read a second time. In committee: Clauses 1 to 3 agreed to. Clause 4: 8828