The Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 (Qld) (VOCA Act) contains transitional provisions relating to applying for financial assistance for acts of violence that occurred prior to 1 December 2009 and 1 July 2017 respectively.
Chapter 6 of the VOCA Act relates to offences committed prior to 1 December 2009 when the now-repealed Criminal Offence Victims Act 1995 (Qld) (COV Act) and ch 65A of the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) (Criminal Code) were in force. Victims who were eligible for compensation under this repealed legislation may seek financial assistance under the VOCA Act. However, to be eligible for financial assistance, the victim must satisfy the eligibility requirements of the repealed legislation.
If the act of violence occurred before 1 December 2009, a victim may be eligible for assistance under the VOCA Act where:
- the offender is convicted, or pleads guilty in a District or Supreme court
- the offender was found to be of unsound mind at the time of committing the offence or is not fit for trial
- police provide notification that an offender is not identifiable or locatable after appropriate enquiry and search.
Chapter 8 of the VOCA Act contains transitional provisions that resulted from amendments to the VOCA Act that commenced on 1 July 2017. These provisions relate to:
- the introduction of the Charter of Victims’ Rights
- the expansion of an act of violence to include all forms of domestic and family violence (as defined in the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld))
- an increase in some components of financial assistance
- the removal of shared pools of assistance for related, parent secondary and witness secondary victims
- the requirement for victims to apply to a compulsory third-party insurer or the National Injury Insurance Scheme Queensland prior to accessing assistance under the VOCA Act
- additional powers for a government assessor to consider and decide an application for financial assistance.
The application of the provisions within ch 8 of the VOCA Act varies and may be based on the act of violence date, the application date, the date a decision was made on an application or the date a decision was made on an application of the same type for the act of violence (e.g. a decision on one related victim’s application for the act of violence).
A number of other transitional provisions apply. Please contact Victim Assist Queensland for more information.