New legislation that improves thesafety of our emergency services workers was passed through Parliament tonight.
The Criminal Code Amendment Bill meanspeople who assault our Fire and Rescue, Emergency Services and St John Ambulanceofficers will now face the same penalties as those who assault our Police.
The Bill also includes an amendmentto make the offence of violent act causing death colloquially known as theone punch law, an alternative verdict to both murder and manslaughter.
As stated by Attorney-General, NatashaFyles:
The Territory Labor Government is buildingsafer communities, passing new legislation to protect our hard-working emergencyworkers.
Emergency services workers in the Territory do anextraordinary job in extremely difficult circumstances helping Territorianswhen they are at their most vulnerable.
We promised to strengthen protections for ouremergency services workers and we are delivering that with this Bill.
In 2018 alone, 35 St John Ambulance paramedics wereassaulted by clients. This is not acceptable.
Emergency services workers are saving the lives ofTerritorians and we need to ensure they are protected in return.
As stated by St John Ambulance NT CEO,Judith Baker:
It is fantastic to know theNorthern Territory Government has listened to our paramedics and thedifficulties they face every day, and passed this legislation. The legislationwill send a strong message that assaults on paramedics will not be tolerated.
It is great for our staff toknow they will now be supported by law, at the same level as police and otherfront line emergency workers who carry out life-saving work on a daily basis.