Time to act – Labor must support mandatory minimum sentences for convicted child sexual offenders

Elise Archer,Attorney-General and Minister for Justice

There must be strong mandatory minimum imprisonment penalties for serious sexual offences against children.

Sexual offences against children are abhorrent. This is why our Government is bringing on the Justice Legislation (Mandatory Sentencing) Bill 2019 for debate and a vote in the Legislative Council tomorrow, as announced a few weeks ago.

We have been pursuing this reform for six years – the community and victims’ support groups want and expect it, and we implore the Labor Party to support this important Bill given they have blocked it at every turn to date.

Unless this reform occurs, the sad truth is that convicted serious child sexual offenders can currently escape jail entirely, for example, the rape of a child under 17 or for persistent sexual abuse of a child (or young person) where there are circumstances of aggravation.

This in no way fetters the Court from imposing a longer sentence.

There should be no more excuses from Labor– it is time to act.

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