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Labor must rethink opposition to mandatory sentencing

Elise Archer, Attorney-General

Labor is letting down every Tasmanian who expects strong penalties for abhorrent crimes.

The Hodgman Liberal Government remains absolutely committed to our election commitment to introduce minimum mandatory sentences for those who commit serious sexual offences against children.

We have also committed to reintroducing legislation to mandate minimum sentences for serious assaults on frontline staff.

There was a strong backlash against Labor when they ignored the Tasmanian community and victims by voting down legislation which would have meant guaranteed prison time for these serious crimes.

Despite having suffered their third worst election result ever it seems Labor still haven’t got the message that Tasmanians expect their elected members to actually represent their views.

At least the Labor party in Victoria have been listening to their community. The Victorian Labor Government has committed to overhauling and restricting the ability of defendants to use exceptional circumstances, or special reasons, to avoid being sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.

While Victorian Labor is promising that more criminals will go to prison under their reforms, Tasmania’s Labor Party can’t even commit to guaranteed prison time for the most heinous of crimes against children.

Sadly, in the last term, Labor and the Greens in Tasmania also opposed our legislation that would protect frontline workers. We will reintroduce legislation to achieve this goal and it’s up to Labor to declare whether they will support workers in this State.

It seems that the Labor Party are even out of step with their union backers on this important issue, with the Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), Tom Lynch, appearing to endorse the Government’s plans for stronger sentences for those that assault our frontline workers.*

It is the duty of any responsible Government to do whatever is necessary to ensure Tasmanians feel safe, and we are committed to reintroducing these important and significant pieces of legislation in Parliament.

What is Labor actually committed to?

* ABC Radio Hobart on 19 June 2018