State Policies

Public Register of Convicted Child Sex Offenders

Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party (DHJP) welcomes the Federal Government’s recent proposal to make the National Child Sex Offender Register public. This announcement follows extensive lobbying efforts undertaken by Derryn Hinch for many decades and more recently in the Senate working with key Government Ministers since 2016. In 2018, DHJP worked closely with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s office in formulating potential models for what a national offender system could look like.  DHJP is committed to a register that is publicly available and retains judicial discretion.

Justice in Sentencing and Bail/Parole Reform

DHJP has long believed that the rights of victims should be prioritised over the rights of criminals. Unfortunately, this is not always common practice in Victoria’s legal system. Further clarity and accountability surrounding our legal system would enhance transparency and allow for improved oversight. DHJP is committed to an overhaul of our ‘justice’ system that addresses the accountability and workload of the courts and a review of sentencing practices that: reduces the influence of precedent in appellate courts; ensures that bail and parole works to protect the community; and offenders are appropriately monitored.  We owe that to the public.

Dying with Dignity

Victoria has legislated voluntary assisted dying, however there is still more to be done.  We believe that the right to dignity at the end of life, including the ability to access life ending medication, is the ultimate civil right.  We will work to ensure voluntary assisted dying legislation secures these rights to alleviate suffering for people with untreatable, painful or terminal illness.

Staff to Patient Ratios in Aged Care

While aged care is primarily the responsibility of the Federal Government, there are a number of instances where the State can improve outcomes for patients and their families. This includes retaining and attracting talented carers and ensuring adequate support services for patients and their families in circumstances where there has been misconduct.

Given the ongoing Royal Commission into Aged Care, both major parties are actively considering their position on the matter. It is our hope that ratios become a reality so that our elderly and vulnerable can receive the highest quality care that they deserve.

Domestic Violence Law Reform

Tougher laws and sentencing practices, along with improved public awareness and education about what constitutes domestic violence and how to enact cultural change, is needed in order to deter violence at home. DHJP will continue to lobby the State Government for primary prevention and early intervention funding, improved support services and crisis accommodation facilities throughout Victoria.

Animal Justice

The moment an animal begins to suffer, the cruelty begins.  Pain suffered by animals as a result of either direct human interaction or inaction in providing for animals is abhorrent and must not be tolerated. The unfair suffering of animals continues without fear of punishment.  We do not advocate for any civil activism against farmers or industries not abiding by the law by persons other than law enforcement agencies.  DHJP is committed to the funding and resourcing of inspectors as well as other investment to identify and investigate cases of animal abuse and neglect.

Illicit Drugs – Reducing the Scourge

There is a known link between drug use and criminal activity. The manufacture and distribution of illicit drugs is a criminal activity that is devastating to communities, particularly with increases in opioid addiction, ice use and emerging illicit drugs.  Drug dependency is a health issue linked to catastrophic impacts on individuals, their families, victims of their crimes and the wider community.  Intervention services need to be readily accessible and immediately available to provide adequate support and the best chance of success.

We support an intervention approach to the reduction of drug dependency, including mandatory drug rehabilitation in all cases of criminal activity where there is associated drug use. Rehabilitation services need appropriate funding, including within our justice centres, in regional communities, development of addiction specialists and more high-risk withdrawal services.

Supporting our Emergency Service Workers

Emergency service workers, police members and PSOs deserve a safe working environment, including the right not to be assaulted. When they are, the justice system should not allow perpetrators to continually exploit the “special reasons” clause in order to avoid accountability for their actions. We seek to have this loophole closed.

Mental Health

DHJP successfully moved a motion for presumptive legislation which allows first responders to have access to WorkCover for mental health, just as they would for physical injuries, without facing delay and bureaucracy. There’s more work to do in this area, but it’s a great start. DHJP will continue to help promote the need for streamlined support services for those suffering mental illness.  This includes working with all levels of Government to reduce wait times for mental health services especially within our regional and rural areas.

Supporting Victims – Their Rights First

Victims of crime extend beyond the immediate reach of a perpetrator and the impact can last a lifetime. We believe the rights of victims should override the rights of perpetrators.  We spend billions of dollars on a justice system that often places victims as an afterthought.   It’s time to tip the scales.

Western Victoria Specific

Education

We will continue to put pressure on the State Government to ensure that all schools in Western Victoria has access to fast and reliable internet which enhances student learning. We also will hold the Government to account in ensuring school buildings are continually maintained to the highest standard, in particular within our regional and rural areas.

Housing

Homelessness is unfortunately very prevalent in the South-West region. We will continue to lobby the State Government to solve the housing crisis within our regional and rural areas. This means providing additional – and innovative – social and affordable housing options throughout the region.

Transport

Rail

We will continue to campaign for the State Government to honour their commitment to provide a business case for high speed rail which will service parts of the electorate, including Geelong. We will also continue to lobby for the construction of Freight Rail services to reduce the impact of heavy haulage on our roads and improve service delivery from rural communities to major cities. We will also advocate for free and reliable Wi-Fi on all V-Line passenger services to increase productivity.

Roads

We will continue to advocate for greater funding for roads throughout Western Victoria to get Victorians home safer and quicker and to support our farming industries who use these road networks daily.

We will pursue:

-Safety upgrades to the Great Ocean Road
-Road upgrades for major State Highways which are used for the transportation of dairy/crop from farmer to consumer
-Greater funding support for local councils so that they can repair local roads which naturally deteriorate over time

Environment:

We acknowledge that Western Victoria hosts some of the State’s most important natural assets including an expansive coastline, the 12 Apostles and the Grampians National Park. While housing development and infrastructure are a realistic side effect of population growth, these natural assets and the native species they house should be protected as a matter of priority. We will continue to thoughtfully consider Western Victoria’s natural environment when debating any relevant legislation.