Labor welcomes developments made to an overdue overhaul to section 194K of the Evidence Act announced by the Government today.
Shadow Attorney General, Ella Haddad, said that draft legislation released tomorrow is a critical first step from a Government that had been slow to act.
“Under the Hodgman Government survivors of sexual abuse have waited long enough to have their chance to speak and this is finally a positive step in the right direction,” Ms Haddad.
“Labor is committed to working constructively with the Government as the legislation is being drafted.
“Labor remains particularly concerned about Section 125A of the Criminal Code, which currently includes out-dated and misleading wording of sexual offences.
“The Liberals voted against Labor’s amendments to Section 125A of the Criminal Code in Parliament last year, which sought to rename the current crime of ‘maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person’ to ‘persistent sexual abuse of a child’.
“The current wording of the crime implies that there is consent from the child which is simply impossible. Labor will continue to seek to change the names of sexual offences to better reflect the true nature of the crimes.”
Shadow Attorney General