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White again fails to lead on tougher sentences for sexual offences against children

Michael Ferguson, Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly

Shamefully, Labor Leader Bec White has refused to defend Labor’s position or even apologise to the Parliament and to child sex victims who were offended by Craig Farrell’s out of touch comments when trying to explain why Labor would block tougher sentences for child sex offenders.

Mr Farrell comparing sexual crimes against children to drink driving in parliament last session was a low that demonstrated Labor just doesn’t get it when it comes to serious sexual offences against children and the need for serious penalties.

Given the comments were made in Parliament, it is only right that Parliament should hear apology on behalf of Tasmanians.

However, the inexperienced Ms White did not even bother to turn up and listen to or participate in the debate on either day, demonstrating once again her preference with difficult issues is to avoid them.

Today in Parliament Lara Giddings made matters worse by using arguments about mandatory sentencing for the theft of a packet of Tim Tams to try to explain opposition to tougher sentences for the real issue at hand: crimes against the innocence of children which impact for a lifetime.

Ms White has once again failed the victims of paedophiles by clinging to her party’s blocking mentality, and she needs to apologise.

**Motion that was passed by the Parliament today**

That the House:—

(1) Notes the Labor Party’s ongoing opposition to minimum mandatory sentences for serious sexual offences against children.

(2) Further notes the comments of the Hon Craig Farrell MLC on 21 June 2017, where he sought to rationalise child sex crimes by comparing perpetrators with alcoholism and drink driving and condemn those comments in the strongest possible terms.

(3) Calls on the Leader of the Opposition, Hon Rebecca White MP to demonstrate leadership and show greater respect for the concerns of the community and victims on the issue.

(4) Supports the introduction of minimum mandatory sentences for serious sexual offences against children.