Disappointing changes to sexual assault and rape laws have been revived – make a submission!

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The Queensland government is proposing new rape and sexual assault laws. The proposed changes sparked heated debate from organisations, academics and individuals who work with survivors of rape and sexual assault. The previous Bill, which was the subject of our last Human Rights in Action webinar, lapsed last month when parliament was dissolved for the 2020 Queensland State Election.

However to our disappointment, the exact same Bill has been revived. On 26 November, our new Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Hon Shannon Fentiman MP, recently tabled the same proposed laws into parliament once again.

The wording of the new Bill is identical to its predecessor. The Statement of Compatibility is also identical to the previously tabled statement which made no mention of victim’s human rights.

If this Bill becomes law, it will be a huge missed opportunity for a new Minister with a tremendous track record of supporting the rights of victims and survivors, to make laws that better protect their human rights and reflect contemporary understanding of consent.

There are two things that you and your organisation can immediately do:

  1. Ensure that you make a submission opposing the revived Bill. You can use this updated submission template prepared by QCOSS. Submissions close 12pm on Tuesday 12 January so do not delay. Please note, the Committee has access to submissions made to the previous inquiry. If you had already made a submission, it is not necessary to make a further submission unless there are additional comments you would like to make.
  2. Contact the Attorney-General to express your disappointment and appeal to her track record on victim-survivor’s rights to urge the withdrawal of the Bill as a matter of priority. QCOSS has prepared a template letter to the Attorney-General that you can modify.

To view our Human rights in action webinar examining this Bill head to our YouTube channel, or view our submission.

QCOSS has launched a Women’s Equality Network as part of our Policy Networks, for our members to contribute their expertise and experience to our advocacy work in these areas.

If you are interested in joining our Women’s Equality Network, which will meet on 19 February 2021, please email [email protected]