House debates

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Bills

Criminal Code Amendment (Firearms Trafficking) Bill 2017; Consideration in Detail

4:50 pm

Photo of Michael KeenanMichael Keenan (Stirling, Liberal Party, Minister for Justice) Share this | Hansard source

I think we need to be very clear about what's happening here. Labor have come into this chamber and want to weaken what we are trying to do to put gun smugglers in prison, using the same rationale they have used about us wanting to put child sex offenders in prison. This is the modern face of the Labor Party: overtaken by left-wing ideology against all common sense.

The Australian people want gun smugglers to go to prison. They want paedophiles to go to prison. What we have had is this fake argument where Labor come forward and say, 'Well, you know what? We don't want mandatory sentencing. We don't want mandatory sentencing for these horrendous crimes. What we're going to do instead is increase the maximum penalties.' We on this side are happy to support that. I'm very happy for the government to commit itself to increasing maximum penalties. In fact, that would have been part of both our bills. But, of course, that does not guarantee that gun runners or paedophiles will spend one day in prison. This is the problem with the approach of those opposite. This is the problem with having left-wing ideology dominate what should actually be an argument dominated by the safety of the Australian community but, instead, we find they have been overtaken by this nonsense ideology.

Now, apparently, the Labor Party are deeply opposed to mandatory sentencing, even though when they were in office they introduced it for people smuggling. We have mandatory sentencing in Australia currently for people-smuggling and terrorism offences—two very significant offences. The Labor Party have been making the argument on this bill and on the other bill we have for locking up paedophiles that they don't support mandatory sentencing. If that's the case, are they going to repeal mandatory sentencing for people smuggling? They've just been saying it doesn't work.

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