For release: Friday, 12th April 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has welcomed new laws forbidding sexual relationships between young people and adults in positions of authority in the ACT.

ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace said the laws passed in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday night are a sensible measure to minimise the exploitation of vulnerable young people.

“People in positions of authority need to be held accountable for inappropriate sexual behaviour upon young people in their care,” he said.

“Attorney-General Simon Corbell should be commended for providing this fundamental protection for a vulnerable sector in our society.”

The new laws make it a criminal offence for an adult with responsibility for a young person to have a sexual relationship with them, even if they consent. This applies to teachers, foster or step-parents, counselors, health professionals, youth workers and sports coaches.

Those found to be breaking this law could be charged with two new offences of sexual intercourse and act of indecency.