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Daniel Andrews’ delay means first responders are without protections they deserve

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Reports that two police officers were attacked overnight is a troubling reminder of Daniel Andrews’ failure to bring in tougher sentencing laws to deal with attacks on our first responders.

Following the public uproar in May over light sentences for the offenders who viciously attacked a paramedic of 40 years’ service, Daniel Andrews undertook to the Victorian people in front of a group of first responders that he would address the problem of light sentences.

Stronger laws could have passed the Parliament a fortnight later had Mr Andrews been truly committed to stronger mandatory sentencing for violent thugs who think it’s ok to bash paramedics, police officers and other first responders.

The Andrews Labor Government doesn’t believe in tougher sentencing. 

In fact, much of what it has done over the last four years has resulted in softer sentencing, easier bail and weaker arrest powers.

Anticipating that Mr Andrews would delay, the Liberal Nationals had a private member’s bill prepared that would have seen violent attackers get jail for such assaults. 

Here is what happened when I tried to introduce a bill for just that purpose.

Sentencing Amendment (Protecting Our Protectors) Bill 2018

Page 1428

 

22 May 2018

ASSEMBLY

Introduction

JOHN PESUTTO

 
   
         


Mr
 PESUTTO (Member for Hawthorn) (13:02:38) — I move:

That I have leave to bring in a bill for an act to amend the Sentencing Act 1991 to make further provision in relation to the imposition of custodial sentences on offenders who attack paramedics, police officers, custodial officers, youth custodial workers and other emergency workers in the course of their duties and in relation to the imposition of custodial sentences on certain other offenders and for other purposes.

Motion defeated.

Daniel Andrews actually refused leave and has since sat on his hands while first responders have had to deal with violence on a daily basis.

With one week left in this Parliament, there is now a real possibility that the bill won’t pass in time leaving first responders without the protections they deserve.