Tasmanian Liberals

Tasmanian Liberals

2017-18 Budget

Budget 2017

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As the new Attorney-General under the re-elected Hodgman Liberal Government, my focus is to progress law reforms that prioritise community safety, protect our most vulnerable, and meet the expectations of the community.

We took a number of policies to the election that deliver on these commitments, and which were endorsed by the Tasmanian community at the election.

I will introduce important reforms to Tasmania’s outdated bail laws which will ensure community safety is the primary consideration when a decision is made regarding bail.

This includes legislating for a presumption against bail for individuals accused of serious crimes or who are deemed to be at high risk of reoffending while on bail, and placing the onus of proof on serious and repeat offenders to justify why they should be granted bail.

We will also progress reform to Tasmania’s dangerous criminal declarations laws to ensure dangerous criminals are not released when the courts and prosecutors believe they are too dangerous to re-enter society.

Legislation will be tabled to make declarations available to the judiciary for a greater range of serious offenders, as well as ensuring that those offenders who are discharged from an order can remain under supervision on their release back into the community.

And, we will reintroduce legislation that guarantees prison time for serious child sex offenders, as outlined in our 100-day plan and as the community has endorsed at the last two elections.

Other important reforms I will introduce include:

• abolishing the outdated practice of releasing prisoners early via remission, to bring Tasmania in line with all other Australian jurisdictions;

• continuing to tackle the scourge of family violence with the introduction of a new offence of “persistent family violence”, allowing Courts to take into account the full extent of an abusive relationship;

• establishing a new 270-bed prison in the State’s north to accommodate a larger prisoner population and to increase the rehabilitation prospects of prisoners from the north, and a separate remand prison in the south at the Risdon Prison site.

Importantly, I remain focused on continuing to provide greater opportunities for rehabilitation to ensure prisoners have the best possible prospects to get their lives back on track once released.

It’s my commitment to implement these reforms to protect law-abiding Tasmanians from serious offenders and to ensure community safety and victims are always a priority.

Elise Archer, Attorney-General