O'Brien: Greens too soft on crime

MEMBER for Western Victoria David O’Brien has condemned the Victorian Greens for voting against tougher sentences for paedophiles, child abusers and murderers.

The Nationals member said the Greens showed their soft approach to serious criminal activity by this week opposing the bill that was passed with a majority vote. 

“While regional Victorians support tougher sentences for convicted criminals, the Greens vote against these measures while offering no alternative policy,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien said the legislation would apply baseline sentences to serious crimes including murder, incest with a child, sexual penetration of a child, persistent sexual abuse of a child, culpable driving causing death and drug trafficking in a large commercial quantity.

“The average sentence currently imposed for sexual penetration of a child under 12 is currently only 3.5 years,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Under this bill, the average sentence will be 10 years.”

The legislation also increases the present median sentence for murder from 19 years to a baseline sentence of 25 years.

Other increases from the present average sentence to longer terms under the legislation are:  persistent sexual abuse of child under the age of 16 — from six years to 10 years; incest against a child — from four years to 10 years; culpable driving causing death — 5.5 years to nine years; trafficking large commercial quantity of drugs — from seven years to 14 years. 

Mr O’Brien said his time in parliament working on the state inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations had made it clear to him the legislation was “entirely justified.”

Greens Member for Southern Metropolitan Region, Sue Pennicuik, said the Greens had not supported the legislation “because there was no evidence that it will work.” 

“It won’t work because it adds a layer of complexity to the sentencing process and will result in more matters going to lengthy trials and to more appeals.”

ehimmelreich@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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