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Compensation Victory After Long Wait for Tasmanian Couple's Justice as Victims of Gay Hate Crime

After enduring seven years of hatred, violence and abuse by former neighbour, Benedict King, and after several restraint orders against their attacker had failed, Brian Doran and Julian Punch of RCT Inc. (pictured above) sought justice from Tasmania's Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. This resulted in a Tribunal decision that ordered Julian and Brian be compensated for homophobic harassment and vilification and awarded $6,000 in compensation. They were unable to be compensated for the physical violence and street car driving attacks.

After the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner was unable to enforce the decision, the item was registered in the Supreme Court and a caveat on Mr King's family home was taken out in the Land Deeds and Titles Office. Seven years later, in February 2023, Julian and Brian finally received the $6,000 compensation payment plus interest.

The work of Loretta Lohberger of ABC Radio News and TV has greatly contributed to the achievement of an early agreement by the Tasmanian Attorney General to review and establish hate crime legislation for LGBTIQA+ Communities that will ensure payment of Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal compensation decisions.

RCT Inc. is keen to maintain the discussion and give victims a voice in the process of review. There are many sub-issues in this that need to be included, such as apologies ordered as a result of tribunal decisions including that of Robert Williams and Alex Devantier, which were never carried out.

RCT Inc. intends to write to the Attorney General and ask to meet with her. Human rights and anti-discrimination lawyer and former Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Robin Banks has some very good suggestions but there is still the issue of section 90 (1) of the Act re registration of Tribunal decisions in the Supreme Court, as well the involvement of the new Anti-Discrimination Commissioner who has been very quiet and not given RCT Inc. an interview as requested. As a consequence there is ongoing work for the organisation in this important state/federal issue.

Robin Banks, Human rights / anti-discrimination lawyer and former Anti-Discrimination Commissioner

For the full ABC news article, please click the following link.

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