McGowan Government drags its feet on vital Bail Reform putting victims at risk

Mar 31, 2022 | Libby Mettam MLA, State News

The McGowan Government’s failure to introduce Bail reform as promised nearly two years ago is putting Western Australian lives at risk.

The promise followed the tragic death of 11 year old Annaliesse Ugle, who took her own life after the man accused of sexually abusing her was released on bail.

Both the Shadow Attorney General and more recently the Shadow for the Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence have asked questions in Parliament regarding this election promise.

In a telling response to questions last week the Attorney General could give no details on when this reform will be introduced to Parliament.

This lacklustre response coincides with a series of violent crimes in the community, including the recent alleged violent rape of a schoolgirl near Rockingham and the attack on Danny Hodgson by a perpetrator, with a history of violent assaults, who was out on bail.

Comments attributed to Shadow Attorney General, Nick Goiran MLC;

“In December 2020, Mr Quigley promised to introduce “sweeping changes” to the Bail Act as an “utmost priority” in response to the tragic death of 11-year-old Annaliesse Ugle, who died days after attempting to take her own life, when the man accused of sexually abusing her was granted bail.

“There is also an opportunity for this reform to include other violent offences against the individual, given this growing risk in the community.

“Here we are more than 15 months later and absolutely nothing of the sort has been introduced into Parliament.
“Instead we have seen the McGowan Labor Government prioritise an utterly non-urgent law making it more difficult to complete the extension of Roe Highway and expedite changes to our electoral laws that the Premier promised wasn’t on his agenda before the election.

“Maybe Premier McGowan & his Attorney General should spend less time obsessing about their ego game with a billionaire & instead start getting up early to work for our most vulnerable West Aussies.”

Comments attributed to Shadow Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, Libby Mettam MLA;

“The priority must be to ensure that accused child sex offenders are no longer a threat to the victims and the broader community.

“Too often victims of crime have been let down by a system which has allowed these violent predators to remain a threat to the community.”