Curbing the Scourge of Abusers: Federal Government Closes Superannuation Loophole

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After a tireless effort from survivors, spearheaded by Grace Tame, the federal government is taking action to prevent convicted child sexual abusers from disguising their wealth in superannuation.

Unfortunately, today’s system does not allow victims of crime to claim any funds from their offender’s superannuation accounts when bringing forth civil action for compensation.

Intending to provide victims with justice, the government released a public review paper outlining two proposals to use an offender’s superannuation funds to pay out unpaid compensation orders.

Last year, Ms Tame elucidated that the legal loophole vividly illustrates how our society is stacked against survivors of sexual abuse.

“It’s essential for individuals to comprehend the disproportionate power dynamics between survivors and paedophiles,” she said at the time.

“We often make the mistake of oversimplifying this to be a conflict between people when it is so much more than that.”

“This is a perfect illustration of the ongoing misuse of systems.”

“Instead of limiting our view to individual perpetrators and victims, we must identify that the opposing force is an entire system.”

In 2018, former financial services minister Kelly O’Dwyer initially identified the need for change. Regrettably, progress halted shortly after – until Labor’s victory last year when they began considering these alterations again.

According to the Albanese government’s planned reforms, if someone has committed a crime and made super contributions before their criminal proceedings start, those funds can be used by the victim as compensation.

Courts would be empowered to access Australian Taxation Office data about offenders’ superannuation accounts, offering transparency for victims of the assets owned.

To introduce legislature into the federal government, discussions will now take place regarding these proposals.

The discussion paper aims to gain insight into the proposed methods, which would be available only to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in criminal and civil compensation processes.

“Your feedback on this discussion paper will be crucial in assisting the government to decide how best to stop child sex offenders from taking advantage of the superannuation system.” the discussion paper states.

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