LOCAL GOVERNMENT // BAW Baw councillors have voted to support a motion from Whitehorse City Council to the Municipal Association of Victoria requesting mandatory sentencing for serious attacks on council staff.
First published in the 25 September 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen newspaper.
If the motion is successful at the MAV, the group will lobby for a specific offence to be created in the Local Government Act that applies to causing serious injury or the death of a council appointed authorised officer.
The motion will call for the introduction of significant fines or imprisonment for causing serious injury to officers doing their duty in addition to any existing legal penalties.
Baw Baw mayor Debbie Brown moved the support motion during general business at the council’s second September meeting. She told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen she was passionate about seeing this reform enacted, but it was not a serious issue in this region.
“Whitehorse has brought this up and we’ve had one more [violent attack] recently in South Gippsland,” Cr Brown said.
“People are becoming more and more violent, that’s what worries me, and it’s our compliance officers that are usually out there on the front line.
“We want to make sure [violent people] don’t get a slap over the wrist for causing serious injury. [There are situations] where they can get away with a $500 fine and a 12 month good behaviour bond, and I mean take to someone with an axe and still only get a very light sentence.
“It’s making sure we’re protecting our staff.”
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