Shadow Minister for Police and Justice Peter Katsambanis says the Labor Government’s delay in introducing new bail laws to make it harder for people accused of child sex offences to get bail will continue to leave victims at risk of further trauma and harm for months, and possibly years.
“The Liberal Party called for the bail laws to be fixed in October 2020 after the tragic death of Anneliese Ugle,” Mr Katsambanis said.
“We called for a complete end to the practice of granting police bail to people accused of child sex offences and for courts to undertake a full bail risk assessment in all cases where the rights and concerns of the victims would be a paramount consideration.
“If the WA Labor Government had done the right thing back in October and agreed to these important changes, they could have been passed into law already to provide protection and comfort to victims of child sexual abuse.
“Instead, they delayed their decision and now that Parliament won’t sit again until after the March 2021 state election there is no certainty at all as to when any new legislation will actually pass into law.
“Even though the government has now agreed to support the Liberal Party’s tough position, we have not seen their proposed legislative changes. All we have is an announcement that they will do something – in the future.
“Once again, having ignored the opportunity to fix the problem in the first place, Labor have shown that they are more about spin than substance.
“Given the chaotic way Labor have handled legislation in the past four years, if they are
re-elected in March it could be months or even years before they will get any legislation ready to present to Parliament.
“The West Australian public will not be hoodwinked. They know that only a Liberal government will deliver tough but appropriate laws which will protect innocent victims of child sex abuse.”