Labor refuses to support guaranteed jail time for child sex offenders

Elise Archer,Attorney-General

In the latest of their series of political stunts this week, Labor is now seeking to avoid voting before the Legislative Council elections on the Government’s Bill for mandatory minimum sentences for serious sexual assaults against children.

It is an absolute disgrace for Labor to try and kill debate on the Bill by referring it to a Committee which wouldn’t report until Parliament was over for the year. This is a blatant delaying tactic to avoid voting for a third time against guaranteed jail time for serious child sex offenders.

The Bill has already been thoroughly consulted, including with child abuse victim groups, and we have gone to two State elections with a clear policy to guarantee jail time for child sex offenders.

Until mandatory sentences are implemented, serious child sex offenders, including child rapists can get away with little or no jail time, or wholly or partly suspended sentences.

They know their opposition to the Bill is toxic in the electorate, they know they don’t have the support of the community and they are trying to hide before electors go to the polls on Saturday.

Labor doesn’t want to remind Tasmanians that they do not support minimum and guaranteed jail time for child sex offenders and that they are soft on crime.

The Liberals’ position on this Bill is clear – we are the only ones that support mandatory prison terms for serious sexual offences against children.

Labor opposes it, the Greens oppose it, and a committee will not change their entrenched opposition to mandatory minimum prison terms.

/Public Release. View in full here.