Wednesday 7 February 2024

Attorney-General in denial over imminent weaking of bail laws

Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes is in denial over the Allan Government’s imminent weakening of Victoria’s bail laws.

Questioned today by Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, Georgie Crozier, about the imminent abolition of section 30B of the Crimes Act, the Attorney-General blankly claimed “We are not weakening bail laws”.

Untrue.

Section 30B provides that it is an offence for a person to commit an indictable offence whilst on bail.

This matters because if a person on bail commits another serious offence, the test for that person to get bail again is automatically uplifted to a tougher test.

This is designed to make it harder for repeat serious offenders to keep bail by raising the bail threshold for any subsequent offences.

While the Bail Amendment Act passed Parliament in 2023, it will only come into effect on 25 March 2024.

Shadow Attorney-General, Michael O’Brien, said: “By abolishing this offence, the Labor Government is weakening bail laws. The only winners from this change will be repeat serious offenders who will find it easier to get bail and remain in the community.

“The Allan Government needs to reverse the abolition of s.30B before Victoria’s weak bail laws become even weaker, putting the community at greater risk.”