Parliamentary sitting commences in Darwin tomorrow, and at the forefront of the agenda will be to debate the Evidence and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019.
The Bill will see changes to allow for expanded use of video conferencing in court, and enhanced protections for vulnerable witnesses in sexual and domestic violence proceedings.
This aims to alleviate the trauma which can be experienced by victims of crime during court proceedings. It also means perpetrators of crime are more likely to face the consequences of their actions in court.
The Bill recognises the impact domestic violence can have on a person and brings domestic violence matters before the Court in line with protections already in place for some sexual offence matters.
The Assembly will come together early tomorrow, with the Chinese New Year Blessing and National Anthem at 9.15am.
Assembly will commence at 10:30am with a condolence motion for the bushfire disaster, which has impacted much of Australia over the summer months.
Five pieces of legislation will be debated this week in the first of two Sittings weeks. Bills being debated include:
- The Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2019;
- NDIS (Worker Clearance) Bill 2019;
- Mental Health and Related Services Amendment Bill 2019;
- Criminal Property Forfeiture Amendment Bill 2019; and
- Evidence and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019.
As stated by Leader of Government Business, Natasha Fyles:
“With the first Parliamentary sittings for the year across two weeks, Territorians can expect a vast range of legislation to be introduced and debated.
“The Evidence and Other Legislation Bill 2019 being debated this week will result in significant changes in our court rooms which will benefit the victims of domestic violence and sexual offences.”