10 October 2022

Monaro Highway fatal crash highlights need for sentencing, bail review: Hanson

| Lottie Twyford
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Floral tribute at crash site

Floral tributes now adorn the site of the fatal Monaro Highway crash which killed a 14 and 15-year-old girl. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

After the weekend’s fatal crash which claimed the lives of a 14 and 15-year-old girl, the Opposition will today (11 October) renew its pleas for the government to commission an independent review of sentencing and bail in the Territory.

The girls died after the vehicle they were travelling in crashed on the Monaro Highway near Hume.

The 16-year-old boy who was allegedly driving the vehicle has been charged with two counts of culpable driving causing death, as well as being in breach of bail and a good behaviour order.

He was yesterday formally refused bail.

Tom McLuckie and Jeremy Hanson

Tom McLuckie handed his three petitions calling for legislative change and review to Opposition spokesperson for police Jeremy Hanson last week. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

In recent weeks, the Canberra Liberals, the police union, victims of crime including Tom McLuckie, and even a government backbencher, have called for a review of – among other things – sentencing and bail.

Around 7000 Canberrans have recently signed petitions organised by Mr McLuckie whose son Matthew was killed in a crash on Hindmarsh Avenue earlier this year.

Those petitions, which will be tabled by Mr Hanson in the Assembly today, call for sentencing guidelines for reckless motor vehicle crimes, a review of ACT sentencing and a review of judicial appointments.

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Opposition spokesperson for police Jeremy Hanson said this tragic event has further highlighted the necessity of a review.

“How many times do we need to see serious crimes being committed by offenders out on bail before the Attorney-General acts?” Mr Hanson asked.

“We see too many perpetrators out on bail committing other violent offences and this tragic event on the weekend is just yet another example that clearly shows the system is not working as it should.”

Shane Rattenbury

Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury has argued there is an unclear purpose as to what a review of sentencing and bail outcomes would serve. Photo: Lottie Twyford.

Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury has pushed back against a full-scale review. He’s argued it would have an “unclear purpose” as other pieces of work were already underway.

Last week, Mr Rattenbury announced a Law and Sentencing Advisory Council would be created as a “lasting mechanism” to examine areas of potential law reform.

But this was seen as nothing but a “toothless tiger” by advocates, including Mr McLuckie.

Mr Rattenbury will this morning face a motion of no-confidence moved by Mr Hanson over his refusal to commit to this review.

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This will be the fifth no-confidence motion moved by the Canberra Liberals this electoral term.

Those debates can be lengthy and will likely use up a large proportion of the Assembly’s morning sitting block – which only stretches for two hours.

The motion will not remove the Attorney-General from his position as Labor and Greens MLAs are bound by their Parliamentary and Governing Agreement not to vote for Opposition motions of no-confidence (and also not to move one of their own).

They can only do so in “instances of proven corruption, conduct that threatens public confidence in the integrity of government or public administration, gross negligence, or significant and intentional non-adherence to this agreement”.

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Finagen_Freeman1:10 pm 11 Oct 22

“Unclear purpose” ?
Really minister?
If you are unclear as to why thousands of people have signed the petitions you may need to step aside.

“ …well as being in breach of bail and a good behaviour order”

Again we have lost lives because bail is being granted.

Capital Retro1:20 pm 11 Oct 22

………and the people who are getting killed are not the offender.

Doesn’t it depend on what the good behaviour bond/previous bail order were for? If it was for assault, theft, or another crime totally unrelated to the current charges, then it would have been irrelevant. Or are we expecting mandatory sentencing for all crimes?

Barr and Rattenbury have a long and distinguished record of not caring about law abiding people. I predict their response to this will be something in the realm of “We feel for the victim’s families but…”

Or this timeless classic “The juvenile responsible for this accident is a victim too. We will provide assistance to him and his family for as long as they need it. Those in the opposition calling for reform in the legal system don’t know what they’re talking about and as Chief Minister, I’m highly offended the opposition would bring this up at a time when families are grieving”

And like the juvenile who killed Clea Rose, who hides behind that juvenile anonymity even as an adult offender, the crooked kid who committed this offence will be able to go about his adult life without the added burden of pesky people (such as future employers, possible father and mother-in-laws) finding his criminal past on Google.

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