Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party has been vindicated in pushing hard in Parliament for tightening of laws for assaults on emergency workers.
Tania Maxwell MP said the new Sentencing Amendment (Emergency Worker Harm) Bill 2020 appears to be a welcome response to months of lobbying by the Party to fix the loophole that enabled perpetrators of vicious assaults on emergency workers to avoid a prison sentence.
Ms Maxwell’s advocacy included a motion in the Legislative Council in October 2019, which was narrowly voted down, to address the lack of practical translation of the initial laws following the sentencing of James Haberfield.
Ms Maxwell recently criticised the sentencing of Aroub Arop, convicted of 44 incidents of assault including a PSO, police, a bus driver, three paramedics (one of them a trainee) and a sickening attack on a girl with a belt. The incidents are reported to have involved high levels of intoxication and the offender repeatedly breached orders to stay away from alcohol. Late last month he again avoided a prison term and received a community corrections order and another alcohol ban.
Ms Maxwell said that rehabilitation programs available in prison should be a mandated component of sentences for perpetrators of offences while fuelled by drugs or alcohol.
Quotes attributable to Tania Maxwell:
“I would hope that this legislation will send a clear message to offenders that assaults on emergency workers will not be tolerated.”
“We’ve seen enough exploitation of the ‘special reasons’ clause linked to self-induced intoxication or substance abuse.”
“It’s time that offenders are forced to take responsibility for their actions and I hope these laws act as a warning to others before they decide to use drugs that wreak havoc.”