Thursday 5 October 2023
Labor’s bail backflip an opportunity to finally listen and get it right
The Labor Government’s decision to walk away from its proposed changes to bail laws for minors is a small first step in putting community safety first.
Labor’s bail bill would have seen young offenders facing the state’s weakest test for bail even for some of the most serious offences.
This is why the Liberals and Nationals proposed wholesale amendments in response to these dangerous proposals.
These amendments were proposed even before the recent spate of high-profile violent youth offences.
By retaining the status quo for youth bail laws, the Labor Government appears to have finally responded to community concern about crime.
The Labor Government has also agreed to accept the Opposition’s proposal for a statutory review of bail changes after two years of operation.
However, the Liberals and Nationals will continue to push for the retention of the standalone offence of ‘committing an indictable offence whilst on bail’.
Shadow Attorney-General, Michael O’Brien, said: “Labor’s amendments improve the Bill but there is more to do.
“Weakening youth bail laws was always a dangerous move by Labor given the shocking youth crime incidents seen in recent weeks.
“This welcome backflip gives the Labor Government an opportunity to finally start listening to the community; something that never happened under Daniel Andrews.
“The Liberals and Nationals will still move for the retention of bail offences which Labor wants to abolish.
“Accused offenders who abuse the privilege of bail by committing further offences should face a much tougher test to get bail again.
“With crime rising and police stations closing across Victoria, weakening bail laws is the wrong call by the Labor Government”.
Media contact: Alexander Woff 0434 972 166 email@example.com