Scot MacDonald
JUSTICE REFORMS TO MAKE THE HUNTER SAFER
9th May 2017

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC has welcomed tough and smart reforms to the NSW criminal justice system.

“The NSW Government is investing more than $200 million in reforms to deliver swift and more certain justice, strengthen sentencing and parole and hold offenders accountable. These reforms will make the Hunter community safer,” Mr MacDonald said.

Under the proposed reforms and legislation being developed:

  • Sentencing discounts will be tightly prescribed to encourage offenders to make earlier guilty pleas. This will reduce stress for victims and help them move on with their lives, reduce court delays and help get our local police officers back on our streets protecting the Hunter community sooner;
  • Suspended sentences, no more than a slap on the wrist, will be abolished and replaced with increased supervision to hold offenders accountable for their crimes and address the root causes of their offending;
  • All parole decisions will apply a new community safety test, and Community Corrections Officers will have more tools to manage parole breaches with swift and escalating penalties; and
  • The most dangerous sex and violent offenders will be more easily targeted for ongoing detention and supervision after their sentences end with improvements to the management of high risk offenders.

Mr MacDonald said the State Parole Authority will be able to decide ‘no body, no parole’ to motivate killers to disclose the location of a victim’s remains, and offenders’ radicalisation and terrorist links must be considered during parole hearings regardless of whether they have been convicted of terrorism offences.

 “These reforms are a major win for the Hunter, with more tools for our police, courts and community corrections officers to keep our community safe”, Mr MacDonald said.

These reforms continue the NSW Government’s strong record of criminal justice reform, which includes tough new sentences for child sex offenders, a crack down on ice manufacturers and dealers and rolling out the NSW Police Domestic Violence High Risk Offender Teams.

Key stakeholders, including victims groups, law enforcement agencies and the legal profession, will be consulted on the draft legislation to implement these reforms. For more information visit www.justice.nsw.gov.au/reform. 

Media:
Scot MacDonald | 9230 2393