On behalf of the Tasmanian Government, I wish to acknowledge the immense courage required for survivors of child sexual abuse to come forward and seek justice.

I acknowledge the independence of the Judiciary from the Legislative and Executive arms of Government.

I am no longer surprised when week-in, week-out we see the Labor Party politicising any issue they can, but even I was completely stunned this morning to see the Labor Party dragging the courts and the Director of Public Prosecutions into the political debate.

In an act of staggering hypocrisy, today in parliament Ella Haddad called for direct political interference in a sentence handed down in the Supreme Court last week and which is still within the appeal period.

This alone is unprecedented and shocking, but to do this while at the same time opposing this Government’s plans to phase out suspended sentences, and shamefully continuing to oppose mandatory sentencing, guaranteeing jail time for those who commit serious child sexual offences, is indefensible.

It is not the role of the Attorney-General or any other member of Parliament for that matter, to intervene in decisions relating to the conduct of criminal matters conducted independently from government. The decision-making independence of the courts is incredibly important and guarantees that the criminal justice system operates free from any sectional influences, including political. It is astounding that the Labor Party and particularly the Shadow Attorney-General believes it would be appropriate to do so.

Our Government is committed to ensuring that the mechanisms for victims and survivors to access justice in all settings, whether they be criminal or civil, operate effectively as evidenced by our extensive suite of law reforms in this area since coming to Government.

During the COVID-19 emergency Labor have chosen to complain, talk down Tasmania and play politics at every opportunity.

Elise Archer, Attorney-General