Convicted child sexual offenders will be unable to hide their assets in their superannuation under a series of changes proposed by the Albanese government – following a campaign driven by former Australian of the Year, Grace Tame.
Under the current laws, victims of crime who launch civil action for compensation against their perpetrators cannot access money in superannuation accounts.
This means offenders have been able to hide funds in their super and claim they have no assets to circumvent the system and avoid paying their victims.
Treasury released a discussion paper for consultation on Thursday that outlines two draft proposals that change the system, ABC News reported.
Former Australian of the year, Grace Tame (pictured), has long campaigned to stop child sex offenders from hiding assets in their Superannuation accounts
It includes the release of an offender’s superannuation to be accessed by victims to satisfy unpaid compensation orders.
Any ‘additional contributions’ made to an offender’s super in the lead up to criminal proceedings will be made available.
The courts will also be able to access perpetrators’ superannuation accounts through the ATO to determine whether ‘additional contributions’ have been made, under the second proposal.
It means offenders will be unable to avoid compensating their victims or hide their assets.
The changes would be exclusively made for victims of child sexual abuse.
Treasury is currently seeking responses on the two draft proposals from the community.
‘Responses to this discussion paper will help inform the Government’s consideration of options to prevent child sexual abuse offenders from shielding their assets in the superannuation system,’ the discussion paper reads.
‘The government is particularly concerned that, where they are personally liable for a compensation order, offenders have an incentive under the existing framework to shield assets in the superannuation system and deny victims and survivors access to redress in doing so.’
The government has released a discussion paper outlining two draft proposals that close the legal loophole (pictured, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese)
The paper says the floor is open to ‘interested parties to comment on the issues raised’.
‘Any comments received will feed into the development and consideration of potential options to enable victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to access offenders’ superannuation contributions for unpaid compensation orders,’ the paper says.
Grace Tame and other sexual abuse survivors have long fought for the legal loophole to be closed.
Consultation on the proposed changes will close on February 16.