Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:03): My question is to the Attorney-General. Last year I stood on the steps of Parliament with Em Jones and a box with over 90 000 names and signatures. Some may remember Em as the chief petitioner of a campaign that sought to see harsher penalties for an ex-footballer who dragged a nurse into a laneway in Melbourne. He was only scared off when a passer-by shouted out; otherwise who knows what might have happened. The case received so much backlash because of CCTV that actually showed the offender dragging the nurse, sitting on top of her and pinning her down. He was subsequently convicted of assault. In response I proposed a grab and drag offence to fill a gap between assault and assault with intent to commit a sexual offence, which are very disparate in their maximum sentences. My question to the Attorney-General is: where is the government up to with establishing a grab and drag offence?
Thank you, Minister. I believe you possibly covered my supplementary question. I do look forward to seeing what the VLRC come back with in exploring this gap in assault and sexual assault legislation sentencing. As many may or may not know, grabbing and dragging offences are often a precursor to more serious offences, so my question is: if the law reform commission come back not recommending a new charge, what steps if any would the government take in addressing this glaring deficiency within the justice system?