Government dilly-dallies on community safety

The Labor Government is wasting time with reviews and should act now to strengthen Victoria’s bail laws, South West Coast MP Roma Britnell says.

Crime is out of control and the Bourke Street tragedy is an example that reflects this, she said.

Mrs Britnell says she expected to the government would use the first sitting week of the year to strengthen bail laws. But it chose to do nothing.

“On Tuesday, not one piece of legislation was dealt with. Following a condolence motion for the victims of the Bourke Street tragedy, the sitting was adjourned,” she said.

“We should have used that time to start debating laws that may stop a tragedy like Bourke Street ever happen again – that’s the right way to honour the victims.

“There should have been a respectful reflection time. Then we should have done what we are elected to do and work to strengthen the laws.”

“Victorian’s are calling for change; they want violent criminals behind bars not walking the streets. But rather than use the first sitting week of the year to address this serious community safety issue, the Government has done nothing but order a review,” Mrs Britnell said.

“The Liberal-National opposition called to stay at Parliament and get on with the job and have extra sitting days next week to work on strengthening bail laws.

“The government ignored it and voted to adjourn the house as normal.

“The community want action and I’m prepared to stay at parliament for as long as it takes.”

Mrs Britnell was suspended from the house during question time on Thursday after interjecting and calling for politicians to work on the problem, not go home.

“The Premier was saying the action the Liberal-National opposition took to extend the sitting was a stunt and it was appropriate to wait for a review,” Mrs Britnell said.

“I can’t believe they called work a stunt and made my feelings known. There is no reason that simple adjustments can’t be made to bail laws right now.

“It’s what the community expect and I am determined to do my job and deliver. It’s a shame the Government doesn’t feel the same.”


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