In Parliament

Bill - Bail Amendment Bill: Council Amendments



Tuesday, 17 October 2023.

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (13:45):

I just intend to make a few brief comments on the Amendments. But first I acknowledge the work of the Shadow Attorney-General who, throughout this process with the Bill, has led and has proposed a number of Amendments to the government which they have picked up on. They were proposals that were well meaning, they were right, and it was good to see that the Government has picked those up.

In short, the Government got the balance wrong on what they were proposing in this Bill, especially in relation to youth bail. In my community, Brighton was not even on the data map when it came to aggravated burglaries. We are now the number one suburb in inner Melbourne for aggravated burglaries. The Shadow Attorney made the point that many of these crimes committed by young people most affect young people. I speak very regularly, because of the incidence in my community, to the young children and often mothers who are confronted with these criminals in their homes. Oftentimes these families will walk downstairs to find home invaders in their home – some of the most shocking crimes you can possibly imagine. In one circumstance a young guy went out to get breakfast, went out to get his Weet-Bix in the morning, and two fellows were there with machetes to meet him in his kitchen. So, it is important that when we set the laws of this State we do it in a way that ensures people who are committing the most serious crimes have consequences for their actions. What concerns me is not that the government have pulled back from what they were wrongly proposing; what I am concerned about is the word that was used at the time, which was that the government was just ‘pausing’ what they were proposing – pausing.

They got the balance wrong, and I would say to the Government: work with the Opposition through the Shadow Attorney, who has from the get-go looked at this Bill, spoken with the Government and offered solutions to this Bill. I was with him in the Government briefings where he proposed these reforms in a spirit of bipartisanship. I would call on the Government to look at what they have paused, consider the impact, consider what police have said will be the impact of implementing these changes and do the right thing for Victorians and for Victorian victims.