Monday 8 May 2017
Bail changes too small and too weak
The changes announced today aren’t strong enough and do nothing to take violent youth gang members off our streets.
There is nothing in Daniel Andrews’ bail policy that will worry the Apex gang.
The report itself acknowledges it is recommending small changes to a broken system. On page 36 of the review, Justice Coghlan says: “I recommend the current tests for bail be retained but redrafted in clearer terms”. The Government has accepted this principle.
Like a bad photocopier, Daniel Andrews has only partially copied the Liberal Nationals three point plan for bail reform announced four months ago.
Copying our policy on the presumption of remand for violent offences is overdue and welcome. But today’s announcement fails to correct Daniel Andrews’ weakening of bail laws for violent youths.
In 2016, the Andrews Labor Government weakened the bail laws, allowing more violent youths to remain on our streets. Today’s announcement does nothing to fix the Premier’s mistake.
Daniel Andrews has also failed to adopt our policy of ‘one strike and you’re out’ for anyone breaching bail for violent offences. We believe if you are on bail for a violent offence and you breach the conditions of bail, you forfeit that privilege and face remand.
If Daniel Andrews is serious about sending a strong message on crime he would also adopt our mandatory sentencing policy for repeat violent criminals.
The Liberal Nationals have led the debate on police resourcing, bail reform, strengthening sentencing, and compensation for victims of crime. On every one of these issues Daniel Andrews has been too slow to respond and when he has it’s been seriously inadequate.