Statement regarding coronial inquest into 2017 Bourke St incident

Today’s coroner’s report into the 2017 Bourke Street tragedy is the latest demonstration of the tragic consequences of Daniel Andrews’ failed justice system.

In January 2017, James Gargasoulas was responsible for an 11 hour spree of offending which resulted in the tragic deaths of six Victorians and the injury of dozens more in the Melbourne CBD Bourke Street Mall.

Coroner Jacqui Hawkins has stated that a failure of leadership, planning, and lack of appropriate resources created a “perfect storm” in the lead up to this incident.

With Victoria’s crime reoffending rate the highest of any state in the nation, it is now clear that Daniel Andrews’ broken justice system enabled this tragic crime to occur.

Daniel Andrews must learn from these mistakes and urgently fix the deep flaws within Victoria’s justice system so that a tragic incident such as this never occurs again.


Frontline police should not be left to second guess themselves and should have the ability to make important decisions at these crucial times.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Community Safety, David Southwick:

“From today’s Coroner’s report it is clear that a tragic failure of leadership across police, courts and corrections enabled this horrendous crime to occur.

“Under Daniel Andrews, Victoria has a legal system not a justice system and the Premier must urgently address these failures and put community safety first.

“Frontline police must not be left second guessing themselves and the Andrews Labor Government must provide them the powers, resources and support they need to keep our community safe.”

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