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Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

23 June 2017

Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Farrell comments show Labor just doesn't get it on child sex offenders

The comments* in Parliament this week by Labor's Craig Farrell are a sick comparison and demonstrate that Labor just don't get it when it comes to serious sexual offences against children.

If this is the best argument Labor can muster for blocking this legislation, it's no wonder Tasmanians think that Labor is seriously out of touch and consistently soft on crime.

As for Labor's desperate back-pedalling and claims they now want to increase penalties for serious sexual offences, the reality is for most serious crimes the maximum is already set at 21 years.

It's not the maximum sentence that's the problem, it's ensuring that people who commit serious sexual abuse against children get some guaranteed jail time, that's why our legislation would have put a "floor" of at least four years in prison for serious sexual crimes.

*Hansard Legislative Council 21 June 2017

Mr FARRELL (Derwent):


Mandatory sentencing has not worked to discourage people from driving after they have been drinking.  Certainly I know if I go to the pub, I can have one or two and that works well for me.  It might surprise some to know I do not have an alcohol problem.  I can make that decision to have a couple of beers or one or whatever the limit is.  I will check that up.  I will talk to Hansard later about that. I can make that decision and then drive home.  But for somebody who has an alcohol problem and cannot control, it is very similar to a lot of people who commit sexual crimes against children. While some do it know it is wrong and it might be a one-off instance, there people who have a sickness and are repeat offenders, after locking them up and letting them out, the crimes are often repeated.

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