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New measures to protect our children

1 December 2021

New laws that aim to address past injustices and better protect our children have passed State Parliament. 

The new measures remove barriers to civil redress identified by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. 

Minister Josh Teague said these important changes are the result of years of campaigning by survivors and advocacy groups.

"Thank you to all those who advocated for this important reform," Minister Teague said.

"It sends a clear message to institutions who turn a blind eye to child sexual abuse; this conduct will not be tolerated.

"We cannot rewrite history - but we can ensure it does not repeat itself, and these changes will contribute to realising that intent," he said.

The new measures include: 

  • Reversing the onus of proof so that an institution will be held liable for abuse committed by associated persons, unless the institution can prove it took reasonable steps to prevent the abuse from occurring.
  • Making an institution liable for child abuse committed by its employee, where the institution supplied the occasion for the abuse, and the employee took advantage of it (known as vicarious liability).
  • Holding institutions vicariously liable for people who are akin to employees (but not actually employed by the institution).
  • Removing the legal shield for unincorporated associations to avoid legal liability.
  • Enabling survivors whose settlements were unfair as a result of certain legal barriers to apply to the court to have the settlement set aside.