The bill establishes a requirement for clear communication of consent between partners before engaging in a sexual relationship, with both parties required to explicitly obtain a positive affirmation of their willingness to participate. 
The reforms were also designed to ensure the courts will be tougher on offenders and limit the potential for silence to be accepted as consent.
Mr Eilliott told Sky News Australia host Chris Kenny it sets in place an “obligation for the courts to say unless it was positive response to a request for an intimate relationship then the questions need to be asked and there’ll be no excuse for the court not to provide an appropriate custodial or financial burden on anybody that breaks the law.”
NSW Police Minister David Elliott says we should not be living in a situation where women and girls are scared into silence. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
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The reforms were heralded as “common sense” by NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman who acknowledged his parliamentary colleagues in a statement for their “positive, collaborative and constructive” engagement with the bill.
He said it reinforced “consent should not be presumed” as well as setting “clearer boundaries for consensual sex, reinforces the basic principle of common decency that consent is a free choice involving mutual and ongoing communication”.
“Under our reforms, if you want to engage in sexual activity with someone, then you need to do or say something to find out if they want to have sex with you too. It’s that simple.
“This requirement is not onerous. It does not make consensual sex illegal. It does not stop consensual sex. It does not require a written agreement or script, or stifle spontaneity. It’s a matter of common sense and respect.”
The NSW Police Minister also flagged one of the NSW government’s primary concerns was fewer than 10 per cent of sexual assault charges were being convicted with less than half of those receiving “appropriate sentences”.
“So these figures were really low. Anybody with a sister, or a daughter, or a niece or a goddaughter will be, I think, just as concerned as the government was going into this debate.”
“We just can’t have a situation where these young girls are so scared that they are silenced, they are so scared that they don’t say anything, they feel embarrassed to report it and that’s why the police sometimes are not in a position to get the positive outcome that we desire as a community.”
Under new sexual consent reforms people participating in an intimate physical relationship must explicitly obtain consent first. Picture: Getty Images
The consent form package will also feature a series of community-awareness campaigns as well as targeted education programs for judges, legal practitioners and police ahead of the law’s commencement in mid-2022.
Five additional jury directions will also be included to address common sexual assault misconceptions.
Mr Speakman further noted while “no law can ever erase the trauma of sexual assault” the NSW Parliament has “listened to calls for change and consulted victim-survivors and legal experts to improve our response to sexual violence.”

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