Monday, 15 June 2020
Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill 2019; In Committee
I could go through example after example, and many of them were submitted by eminent submitters to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiry into this legislation. But I will just make a point about the comfort that the minister is attempting to offer this chamber around whether or not a prosecution is in the public interest. I offer the example of where a mother becomes aware that her 15-year-old daughter has been receiving images from someone over 18 and pushes really hard in the public for a prosecution to occur. I just don't think, Minister, that that comfort is of a high enough level that this Senate ought to accept the mandatory minimum sentencing provisions. I just want to place it on the record.
I accept that you've tabled an amendment for review. As I said earlier, I thank you for that and we support that, and it is very important that that happen. But I want to place on the record that we are risking here a series of gross miscarriages of justice, where a young Australian could end up being imprisoned for up to seven years in some circumstances. That young Australian could still be a teenager when the offence occurs, and they will be well into their 20s when they get out of prison, with a very different life in front of them than would be the case if a judge had been allowed to exercise his or her discretion in the sentencing. So, having said that, I seek leave to move Australian Greens amendments (2) and (5) to (7) on sheet 8826.
I move Australian Greens amendments (2) and (5) to (7) on sheet 8826 together:
(2) Clause 2, pages 2 and 3 (table items 7 to 9), omit the table items.
(5) Schedule 7, item 4, page 34 (lines 9 and 10), omit "described in column 1 of an item in the table in section 16AAA", substitute "covered by subsection (9)".
(6) Schedule 7, item 4, page 34 (lines 11 and 12), omit "described in column 1 of an item in the table in subsection 16AAB(2)", substitute "covered by subsection (10)".
(7) Schedule 7, item 4, page 36 (after line 16), at the end of section 15AAA, add:
(9) This subsection covers offences against provisions of the Criminal Code listed in the following table:
(10) This subsection covers offences against provisions of the Criminal Code listed in the following table:
The effect of those amendments would be that the mandatory sentencing provisions in this legislation would be deleted. I indicated earlier that we will withdraw amendments (1) and (3) on sheet 8826 because the government has already tabled an amendment which provides for a review.
The CHAIR: The question is that Australian Greens' amendments (2) and (5) to (7) on sheet 8826, by leave moved together, be agreed to.