Govt passes bill to cut compo payouts for violence victims

VICTIMS of crime will no longer be eligible for big payouts in NSW after a cap on compensation passed parliament this week.

The bill was debated until the early hours on Thursday morning in the NSW Upper House but passed with minor amendments.

Under the changes, maximum payments for victims will be reduced from $50,000 to $15,000.

Victims of sexual assault and domestic violence will generally no longer be able to make a claim more than a decade after the alleged incident but the time restraint will not be imposed on those who were children when the offence occurred.

The changes were strongly opposed by both Labor and the Greens.

The NSW Society of Labor Lawyers condemned the legislation on Thursday.

President Hannah Quadrio said the changes were an insult to victims, "especially after so much work has been done to raise awareness of the physiological abuse that happens behind closed doors".

Women's Legal Services Principal Solicitor Janet Loughman said while no amount of money could compensation for damaging experiences, putting dollar figures on injuries was a way of redressing the injustice suffered by victims.

She said compensation was offered to show that "as a society we are opposed to violence and in favour of a safe and healthy community" and that reducing payouts to a paltry figured, "sends the opposite message".


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