Tasmanians are finally a step closer to certainty of mandatory jail time for serious child sex offenders and those who seriously assault frontline workers with the passing of the Justice Legislation (Mandatory Sentencing) Bill 2019 through the Lower House.

This important legislation will help to protect our children and our frontline workers, including correctional officers, ambulance officers, nurses, midwives, medical orderlies, hospital attendants and child safety officers, by delivering guaranteed jail time.

We have gone to the past two elections with a clear and decisive plan to back community safety, and this strong plan has been overwhelmingly endorsed by Tasmanians.

Despite this, Labor and the Greens again demonstrated their soft on crime approach and disrespect for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, voting in lockstep to oppose the Bill.
Sentencing laws are made by the Parliament and must serve to denounce violence and provide protection for frontline workers who are routinely placed in dangerous and potentially violent situations, as well as vulnerable children who are unable to protect themselves.

Our Government has a strong record of protecting victims and especially survivors of child sexual abuse as a result of our nation leading reforms in our response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse – with more to come.

The Tasmanian community quite rightly will be asking why the Labor Party voted against guaranteed jail time for child sex offenders and those who seriously attack our hardworking frontline workers.

These reforms to protect Tasmanians are entirely reasonable and clearly in line with community expectations.

Elise Archer, Attorney-General