Daily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra
Liberal moderate Russell Broadbent will not vote for government's mandatory sentencing legislation

A senior Liberal backbencher, Russell Broadbent, has strongly attacked the government’s legislation for mandatory sentencing for serious child sex offences under federal law and indicated he won’t vote for it in parliament.

Attorney-General Christian Porter specifically acknowledged the Victorian MP’s criticism – which was made at a backbench committee meeting on Monday – when briefing the Coalition parties on the legislation on Tuesday.

Broadbent has made it clear he would not vote for the bill, which will be introduced into parliament on Wednesday.

But he would not cross the floor - rather, he wouldn’t be present for a vote.

Porter argued for the plan on the grounds that the sentencing had not been adequate in these cases.

But at Monday’s meeting Broadbent, a moderate, said mandatory sentencing interfered with the separation of powers, and removed the option for judges to take into account the particular circumstances of a case.

Announcing the details of the legislation last week Porter said 28% of child sex offenders convicted of federal offences in 2018-19 served no jail time.

Among those who got jail sentences “the average length of time that offenders spent in custody was just 18 months,” Porter said.

The government says that as well as requiring mandatory minimum sentences for serious offences and recidivist offenders, the legislation will

  • have a presumption against bail for serious and repeat offenders

  • increase maximum penalties, including up to life imprisonment for the most serious offences

  • contain presumptions in favour of cumulative sentences and actual imprisonment

  • ensure all sex offenders, when released, are adequately supervised

  • prevent courts discounting sentences on the grounds of good character where this was used to facilitate the crime.

Labor is opposed in principle to mandatory sentencing but has indicated it may agree to it when it is tied to child protection.

A spokesman for shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said: “We haven’t yet seen the detail of this bill. When the government releases the bill we will go through our usual parliamentary processes. We will consider it in light of the advice from experts on how to best keep our children safe.”

The Law Council of Australia has opposed the mandatory sentencing plan, saying “sentencing is not a one-size-fits-all exercise, but this is the effect mandatory sentencing has.”

In 2000 three Liberal backbenchers, Petro Georgiou, Danna Vale, and Peter Nugent threatened to cross the floor over mandatory sentencing of Aboriginal juveniles in the Northern Territory. They were instrumental in stopping the practice. But Broadbent was not in parliament then – he had been defeated in 1998 and did not return until 2004.

Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Read more http://theconversation.com/liberal-moderate-russell-broadbent-will-not-vote-for-governments-mandatory-sentencing-legislation-123273

Writers Wanted

Israel-Palestinian violence: why East Jerusalem has become a flashpoint in a decades-old conflict

arrow_forward

How much can I spend on my home renovation? A personal finance expert explains

arrow_forward

4 Top Reasons to Install Range Hoods

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Prime Minister interview with Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon

Karl Stefanovic: PM, good morning to you. Do you have blood on your hands?   PRIME MINISTER: No, it's obviously absurd. What we're doing here is we've got a temporary pause in place because we'v...

Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon - avatar Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon

Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered Keynote Address at AFR Business Summit

Well, thank you all for the opportunity to come and be with you here today. Can I also acknowledge the Gadigal people, the Eora Nation, the elders past and present and future. Can I also acknowled...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Morrison Government commits record $9B to social security safety net

The Morrison Government is enhancing our social security safety net by increasing support for unemployed Australians while strengthening their obligations to search for work.   From March the ...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

The Age Of Advertising: The Importance of Online Business Advertisements

The language of advertising had long grown since its modern beginning in the 15th century when printing was all the jazz. Nowadays, it continues to flourish and adapt as new mediums are created, a...

NewsCo - avatar NewsCo

What is Hampering Your Good Sleep? 7 Things to Check

A good sleep is the pillar of a healthy body and a strong mind. Countless studies have proven how a good night’s sleep goes hand in hand with good health and a productive day ahead. Sleep has an i...

NewsCo - avatar NewsCo

Perks of Acquiring an Established Business

There is a growing trend of buying well-established businesses in Australia. It seems like budding entrepreneurs are finally understanding the perks of buying an established firm as opposed to start...

NewsCo - avatar NewsCo