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Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Page: 3117


Ms HENDERSON (Corangamite) (13:31): Across the Geelong region and in places like Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads and Torquay we are seeing a spate of crime like we have never seen before—robberies, car thefts, gangs staking out streets and targeting places like Highton and Wandana Heights. Thefts have risen an alarming 44 per cent over the past 12 months.

Last Sunday I joined Andrew Katos, the state member for South Barwon, and Edward O'Donohue, the Victorian shadow minister for police, at a law and order forum we convened at the Highton bowls club. We had a packed house, and that is because there is genuine fear in these suburbs about what is going on in our community.

Under the Andrews Labor government police stations are being closed or cut back, there are not enough police on our streets and young offenders are breaching bail with no consequences. That is because Daniel Andrews decided to change the bail laws so that it is no longer an offence for a person under 18 to breach a condition of his or her bail. So these young offenders are roaming the streets in gangs with a complete disregard for the law.

Local residents are angry. They are frustrated and we are seeing this soft-on-crime government allow a situation that is causing fear in homes in our community. We demand action from the Andrews Labor government to take community safety seriously.