From Wangaratta to Bourke Street, the system is broken: McCurdy

Thursday 9 February 2017

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy expressed his condolences to the victims of the Bourke Street Mall tragedy in Parliament this week and called for changes to law and order in Victoria.

“Families have lost loved ones, but so many have been scarred for life, and what a price they will pay for being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Mr McCurdy said in Parliament.

“I cannot even try to imagine the grief, the despair and the sense of loss and these feelings will shadow many for years to come, and I wonder: how can this happen in Victoria?

“This is not New York or Chicago; it is the Bourke Street Mall in one of the most liveable cities in the world, but Melbourne has lost its innocence and we can no longer preach our community safety record.”

Mr McCurdy then told Parliament about the Enough is Enough community safety campaign.

“In my own community in north-east Victoria and Wangaratta there has been a campaign running for 12 months or more called Enough is Enough,” Mr McCurdy said.

“Tania Maxwell and Carol Roadknight continue to support us to do all they can to get the bail system changed. They are not blaming the bail justices or police; they want leadership in this state to act.

“A year ago 1000 people marched through the streets of Wangaratta calling for a safer community. When a country community like Wangaratta in north-east Victoria — which is removed from the crime wave in Melbourne — demands action, to me that means the system is broken.”

Mr McCurdy reiterated the message that enough is enough.

“I believe in a second chance. Everybody deserves another go, but when you cross that line for the second, third and fourth time I believe you forgo your right to remain in that community,” he said.

“And what will it take to get this broken system fixed? If the Bourke Street Mall tragedy is not enough to make wholesale changes to our system, then sadly the changes will not occur.

“Again, I offer my utmost respect and sympathy to all of those families who have been affected by this tragedy.”

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