The maximum compensation available for victims of crime will now double after the Victims of Crime (Compensation) Amendment Bill 2015 passed the Legislative Council today.
A key State Government election promise, the Bill amends the Victims of Crime Act 2004 by lifting the maximum amount of compensation through the Victims of Crime Fund from $50,000 to $100,000.
Grief payments will also double from $10,000 to $20,000, and minor children of adult victims of homicide will be eligible for this payment for the first time.
The amount available for funeral expenses will also double from $7,000 to $14,000. Attorney-General John Rau said that whilst compensation would never make up for the hurt victims suffer, it may help them in the process of returning to their normal lives.
“The Government made a commitment to continue its strong record of supporting victims of crime and the passing of this Bill is another important milestone,” Mr Rau said.
“These changes mean that people who are affected by crime and their family members have some recompense in what is a stressful and traumatic time for them.”
The new law will be retrospectively applied, meaning victims of crime eligible for compensation from 1 July, 2015 will not be disadvantaged.