My matter is for the Attorney-General.
It follows the horrifying news of the death of Celeste Manno on 16 November.
It has been widely reported that Ms Manno was killed in what was the evil culmination of a former co-worker’s long and sustained campaign of stalking of her.
That this death occurred at all is crushing and devastating. That it occurred, even after Ms Manno and her family had sought (and had finally been granted) an intervention order against the individual now charged with her murder, makes it even more sickening.
I realise the Attorney will be reluctant to comment on a specific case now before the courts.
However, I am sure that she will share my view that there continue to be far too many cases of criminal stalking in our State. One is too many, and yet countless instances of it still proliferate.
I am sure that she will also agree that it is utterly horrifying that deaths should be continuing to result from these cases.
To put it simply, changes must be made – and urgently – in order to stop so many individuals and families in Victoria from having to endure this horror.
On behalf of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party and many people who have spoken to us, I hope to be able to have the chance to talk directly to the Attorney and/or her staff in the near future about a number of our ideas about how to better counteract these awful problems.
Some of those ideas have emerged from our meetings with various experts in the field over recent years, including from our visit to Tasmania last year to discuss their Government’s groundbreaking trial of electronic monitoring technology. Some of these ideas have also come from our discussions in recent days with friends of Celeste Manno.
In the meantime, the action I seek from the Attorney this evening is clarification about why it seems to be the case that, so often, there are no serious consequences or sanctions for people who breach intervention or restraining orders applied to them in relation to stalking. This is surely one of the critical problems that needs to be redressed as a matter of urgency.
Alternatively, if the Attorney doesn’t accept or agree with that perception, then I would be grateful for her explanation of what specific responses are currently activated in Victoria in each case (and how quickly) in respect of anyone who breaches these orders.