The Andrews Labor Government has passed legislation that ensures anyone who murders a police officer and those who don’t reveal the location of their victim’s body will not be released on parole.
The changes to the Corrections Act 1986 will ensure those people who kill police officers, either on duty or in connection with their role, serve their full sentence in prison.
This legislation is not a limited “one man” approach, it is comprehensive, covering all people convicted of murdering a police officer and sentenced to a non-parole period.
The men and women of Victoria Police put their lives in danger for the community every day. They deserve this extra protection which recognises the role they play in society.
The changes also create a presumption against parole when a person is convicted of taking a life and does not assist in locating the body.
The comprehensive reform covers murder, conspiracy to murder, manslaughter, and accessory to murder.
Sentencing reforms are also part of the law changes, to facilitate greater cooperation with authorities by convicted felons, and bring closure to the families of victims sooner.
By amending the Sentencing Act, the courts will have to take into account at the time of sentencing whether the whereabouts of the body is known, and if the offender has cooperated in locating the body.
The Government made these changes because victims of these terrible crimes should always come first – now and always.
The reforms apply to all future applications for parole and those already serving time in prison.
Parole is a privilege, it is not a right. I hope our changes to parole will provide some comfort to the families of victims.