simon.ramsay@parliament.vic.gov.au | (03) 5222 1941 | 69A Gheringhap Street, Geelong Victoria 3220
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Consequences and the Minister

I have a calendar on my desk with a new saying for every day.

A recent one said “Study the consequences all the time”.

It’s a good one.  But there was one word that stood out – consequences.

It made me think what that word meant to a young farm boy, decades ago.

Certainly, if I didn’t do what my mum and dad asked me to, there would be consequences.

If I cursed loudly in the fashion of our burly shearers, there would be consequences.

There were consequences for not studying hard enough, or not shutting farm gates.  Mum and dad saw to that, and rightly so.

I didn’t like it at the time.  What hungry young boy wants to miss out on dessert, or be given extra jobs while others play?

I have learnt from those consequences and the lessons stand by me to this day.

Consequences hurt, they are supposed to.

So I am drawn to ponder the modern musings of this word.

Of course, there are consequences for doing good things.  I’m sure Steve Smith appreciates the consequence of lots of batting practice.

But take this word to our papers and airwaves today.  Apply it to the crime wave and particularly to the gang behaviour that is scaring our communities – and not just in Melbourne.

These teenage gangs/mobs/groups/whatever are fearlessly, aggressively and ruthlessly thumbing their noses to society, safety, police and the law.

It’s like that line from the movie Fight Club, but in this case: The first rule about being in a gang is that there are no rules.  And so far, no consequences.

The previous Victorian Coalition Government understood the emergence of this attitude and, among other steps, legislated tougher bail conditions.

This Labor Government, stuck on spin, swagger and social engineering, quickly moved to take these sensible changes away. Anyway, they had penguins and puppies to protect – not people.

Dan Andrews and the Police Minister Lisa Neville couldn’t have been happier with themselves.

Go-easy on criminals?  Return to crime as soon as they hand you bail? Not even a slap on the wrist?  `Yes please’ the gangs said.

You can hear them laughing.  At us.

The crime rates have escalated more than 22 per cent in the past two years.  Gangs of youths – whatever their colour – are parading their contempt, as are criminals generally.

They are changing this nation and its notion of safety, peace, harmony and opportunity.

Australia Day is coming up – what will it mean for those people whose lives have just been shattered by gangs invading the sanctity and safety of their homes, workplaces or streets?

My leader, Matthew Guy, understands consequence.  It is why he is calling for the Victorian Parliament to be recalled to get Victoria’s crime under control.

Among a raft of tougher measures, a Guy Government will end the serving of concurrent sentences for violent criminals who offend while on parole or bail – Adrian Bayley for example.

Literally, if you do the crime, you do the time – not a contracted, bundled version.  It is true justice that acknowledges the victim.

It’s easy to join the dots Premier. Your leniency legislation has had consequences.

Matthew Guy’s tougher, and necessary, legislation will also have consequences.

The Police Minister must now face her consequences.  Her charade must end.

Under Lisa Neville’s watch gangs have flourished, violent ugly crimes have bourgeoned and long-held respect for the law and its officers has disappeared.

If she ever had control, then she has most clearly lost it now.

She denies there is a problem.  She denies there is gang related crime.  She is irresponsible.

She is not capable of protecting Victorians as Minister.

Consequences.  It’s time.