Unreliable Attorney General’s Bail Bill fails victims

“The only thing more disappointing that the McGowan Labor Government’s delayed introduction of the Bail Amendment Bill 2022 to Parliament is the underwhelming content of the Bill”, said Shadow Attorney General, Nick Goiran.

“The lack of consultation by the Government on this Bill is telling. Attorney General Quigley knows full well that he has introduced legislation that does little more than reiterate existing law and practice on bail matters.”

Criminal justice stakeholders have stated that they were not consulted and that the proposed amendments will not make any changes to how Magistrates respond to bail applications.

In December 2020, Mr Quigley promised to introduce “sweeping changes” to the Bail Act as an “utmost priority” in response to the tragic death of 11-year-old Annaliesse Ugle, who died days after attempting to take her own life, when the man accused of sexually abusing her was granted bail by police.

At the time Mr Goiran stated that reform of the Bail Act was necessary and provided “an opportunity to include other violent offences against the individual, given this growing risk in the community.”

Almost two years later, this long-awaited Bill underwhelms, “It is clear that reform is required in this area and that child victims need better support and protection, however this Bill fails to deliver.

“It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that had the Attorney General resisted being embroiled in the pointless ego game between the Premier and a billionaire, he would not only have avoided a finding of unreliability, but he would have had the time to consult with stakeholders and deliver sweeping reform as a priority.

“The present Bill is a missed opportunity for genuine and meaningful reform and Mr Quigley must come clean on how this Bill will change things in real terms for victims of heinous sexual abuse,” Mr Goiran said.