Senate debates

Tuesday, 16 June 2020


Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill 2019; Consideration of House of Representatives Message

3:02 pm

Photo of Nick McKimNick McKim (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I can hear some interjections from coalition senators here saying that that's exactly what the Labor Party should do. I'll address this in more detail when we get into the committee, but I want to simply make the point here that this is an unseemly haste from the government. I expect that the Labor Party is going to support this motion because it's embarrassed at its backflip—and so it should be embarrassed at its backflip, because the backflip that Labor is engaged in here today, firstly, is in direct contravention to its own policy. Labor's policy says this: 'Labor opposes mandatory sentencing'—and so Labor should oppose mandatory sentencing. So Labor did oppose mandatory sentencing yesterday in this parliament, when it joined with the Australian Greens and members of the crossbench to reject the mandatory sentencing provisions of this legislation. Yet here we are today with Labor having backflipped in the House and supported the mandatory sentencing provisions of this legislation, and now, I have no doubt, Labor will be helping the government to ram this legislation through the parliament today.

Let's be very clear about what this legislation will do should it be successful, which it now will be thanks to this appalling backflip and walk away from its own policy by the Labor Party. It will place at significant risk teenagers in Australia engaging in what, over human history, has been quite normal teenage behaviour.

Senator Pratt interjecting —

I'll take that interjection—I don't know whether Hansard picked it up—from Senator Pratt—


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