NSW Greens MPs call for reinstatement of sexual assault minister

NSW Greens MPs Jenny Leong and Abigail Boyd are urgently calling on the Premier to reinstate the Minister for the Prevention of Sexual Assault.

In the NSW Cabinet reshuffle of March 2019, the Premier removed ‘Prevention of Sexual Assault’ from any portfolio responsibility despite widespread community demand for meaningful action on sexual assault. When questioned about this in Budget Estimates last week, the Premier failed to provide an adequate response.

Jenny Leong MP, Greens NSW spokesperson for Women’s Rights said:

“Removing the ministerial responsibility for actually making changes to how we deal with everything from education to legal protections for survivors of sexual assault means that the government has largely dropped the ball on this crucial issue.

 “Back in 2018, the former Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault said that reforms to the NSW Crimes Act were the first priority of the NSW Government Sexual Assault Strategy. That strategy is set to conclude this year and we still haven’t seen any action on real protections for women.

“Where is the NSW Government Sexual Assault Strategy up to? Has it delivered anything in the prevention of sexual assault or for survivors of sexual assault since the abolition of the Minister for the Prevention of Sexual Assault? It seems the main focus has been on the development of a black and white video and a hashtag. 

“The Premier must urgently reinstate the Minister for Prevention of Sexual Assault so that someone is responsible and accountable for delivering the much needed reforms.”

Abigail Boyd MLC, Greens NSW spokesperson for Women’s Equity and Economic Justice, said:

“When I questioned the Premier in Budget Estimates last week, she would not commit to reinstating Ministerial responsibility for prevention of sexual assault and could not provide any concrete government commitments to meet previous commitments to reform consent laws. It’s just not good enough.

“When a government removes ministerial responsibility for prevention of sexual assault and then drops the ball on something as important as sexual consent law reform, you know they’ve made the wrong call.

“Ending sexual violence must be a priority of this Government and it must be backed up by concrete action, not platitudes.”

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