Continuing to support victims and keeping our community safe 

By Elise Archer

AS we welcome a New Year and enjoy the Summer, I am sure I am not alone in looking to 2021 with optimism after what was an incredibly difficult and challenging year for all Tasmanians in 2020.

COVID-19 presented us with many unprecedented challenges.

Throughout the year, I was particularly inspired by the resilience, strength and optimism of the Tasmanian community.

Despite the difficult year, the Government has taken action to ensure the ongoing safety and wellbeing of the Tasmanian community.

I am proud of our ongoing significant law and order reform agenda that will make a real difference to people’s day to day lives.

In March, the pilot witness intermediary scheme will commence.

This is a really exciting reform that stems from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and will see highly skilled communications experts help children and vulnerable adults give evidence in homicide and sexual abuse matters in court.

It takes extraordinary strength and courage to give evidence and seek justice.

To appear in court and give evidence as a witness or victim can be a very stressful experience and this initiative will see invaluable assistance provided to help make this process much easier.

We have also made significant steps towards introducing updated legislation relating to dangerous criminals and high risk offenders.

It is expected that this legislation will be passed early in the parliamentary year and become operational shortly after.

These updated laws will allow for the indefinite detention of dangerous criminals and provide the ability for the Supreme Court to impose conditions on a high risk offender being released from prison at the end of their sentence, which will allow them to be actively monitored (for example, by electronic monitoring) and supported as they reintegrate back into the community.

These are just two recent examples of the important actions I have

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