In Parliament

Motion: Attempt To Introduce Bail Amendment (Indictable Offences Whilst On Bail) Bill



Tuesday, 20 February 2024.

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (12:18):

I strongly support the member for Malvern’s attempt to introduce the Bail Amendment (Indictable Offences Whilst on Bail) Bill 2024, and I support the urgency that it needs to be introduced with.

I advise the House that last night in my community there were five home invasions. When we speak about the need for this Bill there can be no greater proof of a need than the incidents that occurred last night.

The Member for Malvern spoke about the 34 days until the weakening of bail laws comes into effect. We absolutely need to introduce and consider this Bill immediately, because I have five families in my community that expect it – families with children who go to one of my local primary schools, who this morning woke up to having had their homes invaded. When does it stop?

We need to ensure that there are punishments at law that act as a deterrent to stop these crimes. We need to ensure that the laws are strong, not watered down but strong, and that is what the Member for Malvern’s Bill is about. It is about ensuring that we have protections in place and ensuring that when you commit a crime more than once you are punished as you should be, not that it is easier for you to do it again. To know that 68 incidents are occurring a day is a problem, and that is what this Bill seeks to address.

Mary-Anne Thomas: On a point of order, Speaker, the Manager of Opposition Business knows full well that this is a procedural motion. It is not an opportunity to debate the merits of the Bill, and I ask you to bring him back to speaking only about the introduction of the Bill, not what the Bill may contain.

The SPEAKER: I do not uphold the point of order.

James NEWBURY: I say again: there can be no more urgent reason to introduce this Bill than to ensure that families like those in my community who were attacked last night are protected. Could there be any greater reason?

I am a father of young children, and to talk to other parents who have woken up in the morning and found they have been victim to a home invasion just absolutely rocks you. It hurts to hear the stories of what they have gone through. And it is not just something that happened last night. As we heard from the Member for Malvern, this is something that is now happening 68 times a day – 68 times every single day – on average.

I have, in my community, heard of so many incidents where this has occurred. Only recently in Bay Street a family woke up, walked out to have their Weeties and were confronted by two armed home invaders with machetes. Can you imagine? That is why I so strongly support the Member for Malvern’s attempt to say that we cannot allow the laws to be watered down in 34 days. No-one in good conscience would allow the laws to be watered down in 34 days, and that is what this Bill goes to. We must consider it immediately. We must consider it urgently.

We must ensure that our laws protect our community, and when we know that there are failings, when we know that there have been mistakes, that we stop them from happening. In my community our local police station is now closed for part of the day. It is just one of the 43. Forty-three stations are shut for many, many hours a day. I do not have a station in my community. The nearest one is now shut for a third of the day; the 24-hour station is now shut for a third of the day. Work that one out.

But the Member for Malvern must be supported in his attempt to introduce this Bill. We cannot allow repeat offenders to not have a deterrent to stop them from committing these horrific crimes. How can we as a Parliament look the five families in my community in the eyes and say what they went through last night was okay? It is not okay, and this Government needs to stop sitting idly by while 68 of these invasions are happening every single day.