Government follows WA Liberal lead to double down on GPS tracking of violent offenders

Oct 24, 2023 | Libby Mettam MLA, State News

The Cook Labor Government’s announcement that it will adopt the WA Liberal policy to expand the number
of GPS tracking bracelets for serious offenders who breach a violence restraining order is a victory for
common sense.

WA Liberal Leader Libby Mettam announced last month a $100 million commitment to ensure an extra 300
GPS tracking bracelets would be available under a Liberal Government to monitor offenders who
committed serious breaches of violence restraining orders.

“Today’s announcement is welcome, but it is tragic it has taken family and domestic violence to reach crisis point in WA before the Cook Labor Government acted,” Ms Mettam said.

“Breaches of family and domestic violence orders were up 22 per cent in the last year and time and time
again we saw these violent offenders re-offending upon release, often with tragic outcomes.

“Western Australia has for several years had one of the highest rates of reported family and domestic
violence in Australia. It has taken the Labor Government way too long to act on this issue.’’

Shadow Justice Minister Tjorn Sibma said the Cook Government had undertaken a two-year GPS trial that
wound up more than a year ago, but had failed to provide any detail about the outcomes or flag any
changes until now.

“It also needs to be remembered that this is just an announcement, by this Government’s track record it will be another year before the legislation to enact the announcement even comes before the house,” Mr Sibma said.

“I challenge the Cook Labor Government and Attorney General John Quigley to put some urgency behind
this legislation.

“We know from the results of trials in other states that when GPS tracking measures are properly
implemented the resulting reductions in FDV can be significant Shadow Police Minister Peter Collier said jurisdictions across Australia had found GPS tracking devices to be powerful tools in stopping repeat family and domestic violence offenders and the Cook Labor Government had been dragging its feet for more than a year.

“A trial in Tasmania five years ago found an overall reduction in violent incidents, particularly high-risk incidents, of up to 82 per cent,” Mr Collier said.

“It’s hard to understand what other proof was required.”