25 July 2016

LNP to empower child abuse victims in the Noosa Electorate

• LNP to lift limitation period on child sex abuse civil claims if elected to government
• Move to empower survivors of child sex abuse to speak out in their own time
• LNP to consult with wide range of stakeholders in developing legislation

CHILD sex abuse survivors in Noosa will have better pathways to justice through an LNP plan to remove the limitation period on child sex abuse civil claims if elected to government.

Member for Noosa, Mr Glen Elmes said limitation periods acted as a significant barrier for survivors seeking justice for appalling past abuse, but the LNP’s policy would help survivors speak out in their own time.

“We want to empower child sex abuse survivors to seek the justice they deserve, no matter how long ago the alleged offence occurred,” Mr Elmes said.

“The current laws mean child sex abuse survivors in Noosa have just three years from their 18th birthday to lodge a civil claim against their alleged perpetrator.

“Many survivors find it too difficult to deal with the trauma involved in seeking justice for their abuse until well into their adulthood, but it is unfair to deny them justice in these circumstances.

“That’s why, if elected, an LNP Government will remove the limitation of claims, as recommended* by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.”

Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker said the LNP would seek to introduce legislation into Queensland Parliament within the first 120 days of government.

“We want to help survivors in Noosa as soon as possible, but it’s also important we get these laws right, so the LNP would consult with a wide range of stakeholders in drafting the legislation, from the legal industry to survivor support groups,” Mr Walker said.

“Clearly, the Court retains its jurisdiction in determining the merits of each case, but our move will ensure survivors who are willing to come forward and speak out are able to do so in their own time.”

Mr Walker said the LNP had a strong track record in government, including increased funding to support groups.

“In government, the LNP established the Child Protection Commission of Inquiry to chart a roadmap for the future of child protection,” he said.

“We supported survivors of crime in Noosa by enabling them to read their victim impact statements before a sentencing court they wished and it was reasonable in the circumstances.”

*State and territory governments should introduce legislation to remove any limitation period that applies to a claim for damages brought by a person where that claim is founded on the personal injury of the person resulting from sexual abuse of the person in an institutional context when the person is or was a child. (Recommendation 85 - Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – 14/09/2015)