9 November 2017
The Nationals WA have condemned the McGowan Government for their failure to introduce legislation to remove the statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse.
Member for Roe Peter Rundle MLA spoke in Parliament yesterday, lambasting the Premier and the Attorney General for promising to introduce the legislation as a priority, and consequently misleading victims by failing to do so.
“When in opposition the Premier and the Attorney General promised on numerous occasions that this would be the first piece of legislation they would introduce when in Government,” Mr Rundle said.
“Eight months later and there is no legislation in sight. I call on the Premier and the Attorney General to apologise to the victims of child sexual abuse for their failure to deliver on their promises.”
In late 2016 Dr Graham Jacobs, then Member for Eyre, introduced a private members bill to remove the statute of limitations, which the then opposition supported in full.
“As I understand, there were some improvements to be made to the bill introduced by Dr Jacobs,” Mr Rundle said.
“The McGowan Government have had eight months to make these changes, although they supported the bill when they were in opposition.
“We have seen more than 30 pieces of legislation introduced by this Government since March, and still have no solid indication as to when this incredibly important bill will put to Parliament.”
During the debate the Attorney General said that he did not feel constrained to apologise for the delay in introducing legislation, claiming a mere 32 weeks had passed.
Mr Rundle said that every day the bill was delayed, was a day too late.
“When in opposition the Attorney General said that this bill would be one of the first presented to Parliament, and it would pass the Parliament within the first month of Parliament resuming.
“I urge the Attorney General to get on with it, and bring on this legislation so I can go back to the victims and my constituents and tell them that the Parliament of WA has done its job.”