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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 706

Senator HINCH (Victoria) (18:06): I am of two minds here. I support Senator Wong and her appeal to get the maximum sentence increased to 30 years. If our magistrates and judges were doing their jobs properly, we would not need any minimum sentences. We see, in court after court, maximum sentences where state governments are bowing to popular pressure and increasing maximum sentences, but still you are seeing people walk free with suspended sentences, no sentences, short jail terms or what. On the other hand, I agree with the Attorney-General when he says that with the five-year minimum no drug trafficker will escape jail.

You would assume in this day and age—in this post 9/11 climate, and after the Lindt Cafe siege et cetera—that no judge would ever in Australia let a gun trafficker walk free with no jail. But, sadly, some of our judges and some of our courts are such bleeding hearts about such issues that it would not surprise me, and that is why I will be supporting the government today.