Tackling crime in our local community

Although law enforcement is primarily the responsibility of the State Government and Victoria Police, the Federal Government plays an important role in protecting our community through its responsibility to ensure that those people who are here on visas observe the rule of law as it applies to all Australian citizens.  This responsibility includes the power to cancel visas of and deport non-citizens who commit violent crimes.

In terms of deporting violent non-citizens, Australian Migration Law requires that people who enter or stay in Australia must satisfy the character requirements as set out in Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958. Entering or remaining in Australia is a privilege, and it is expected that non-citizens are, and have been, law-abiding. A person who is removed from Australia after their visa is cancelled on character grounds will be permanently excluded from being granted another visa to re-enter Australia.  The Federal Government has cancelled visas of over 3000 dangerous non-citizens, including 1300 in the 2016-17 financial year alone.

Late last year I was a panellist at the Boroondara Law and Order forum along with the Boroondara Mayor and Councillors, the Inspector of Police and my local state colleagues John Pesutto and Tim Smith.  The forum provided the opportunity for residents to engage with the three levels of government and to share their concerns about escalating youth violence and crime in Victoria.

In response to these issues, the Victorian Opposition led by Matthew Guy has announced a comprehensive suite of proactive law and order policies designed to ensure that community safety comes first. I know that John Pesutto, the State Member for Hawthorn and the Shadow Attorney General is focused on this issue and is working closely with Matthew Guy and the Victorian Liberal team to consider, develop and announce new ideas for reform over the coming months. This clear plan to make Victoria safe includes putting more police on the beat, establishing more police stations, mandatory sentencing for repeat violent offenders, establishing a public sex offenders register, introducing tougher conditions for bail and putting the interests of victims of crime at the centre of the justice system.