The headline in today’s The Age newspaper could not be more wrong. The determination of the Liberal Nationals to keep Victorians safe and fix our failed justice system has never been stronger. The Liberal Nationals share the frustrations of Victorians at this state’s broken justice system under Labor.
Victoria has had a Labor government for 16 out of the last 20 years. Under Labor, Victoria has a legal system - not a justice system.
It is why we opposed Labor’s abolition of the Law Reform Committee in this Parliament because our sentencing system needs urgent repair. It is why we condemned the manifestly inadequate sentence Borce Ristevski received for killing his wife and demanded it be appealed - an appeal which is now underway. It is why we have shone a spotlight on Labor’s failings in youth justice, which have put staff at personal physical risk.
It is why we have called out the significant increase in crime under Labor, with offences increasing by 12.3 per cent since Daniel Andrews was elected. It is why my first policy announcement was a slew of tough new measures to tackle drug driving including a major increase in penalties and an increase of 1,000 roadside drug tests every week.
Pointing out Labor’s abject failure to rehabilitate prisoners - part of the job of the corrections system - while running the most expensive system in the country is hardly softening our “tough on crime” approach.
Demanding that Labor reinstate the Parliamentary Law Reform Committee to shine a light on Labor’s myriad failures in sentencing and corrections is hardly soft.
The Liberal Nationals want to see fewer crimes committed in Victoria so that Victorians are safer. Be in no doubt. Those who commit serious crimes against their fellow Victorians will get no sympathy or leniency under a Liberal Nationals Government.
We will always be stronger on safety and tougher on crime than Labor.
Michael O'Brien MP
Leader of the Opposition