CANBERRA’S police union has reiterated its call for an independent review of bail and sentencing laws in the ACT following Sunday’s (October 9) horror crash that killed two teenagers.
The two teenage girls, aged 14 and 15, died at the scene of the collision – on the Monaro Highway at Hume – after the Toyota sedan they were riding in left the roadway, crashed through some temporary fencing and collided with a tree.
Police have charged a 16-year-old boy with two counts of culpable driving causing death, breaching bail, breaching a good behaviour order, driving as an unaccompanied learner, and failing to stop and render assistance.
Australian Federal Police Association (AFPA) President Alex Caruana said Sunday’s crash was “shocking” and shouldn’t have happened.
He again called on the ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury to implement an independent review of bail and sentencing processes in the territory.
“Our hearts go out to the families… tragically, two young people have been killed in a collision that should never have happened,” Caruana said.
“How many more people need to die before the Attorney-General and ACT Chief Minister actually start doing their job and protect Canberrans from recidivist offenders and people committing crimes while on bail, good behaviour orders, or intensive correction orders?.”
The police union boss said that the Attorney-General is failing Canberrans by not conducting a review, calling on him and the ACT government to “stand up and be leaders”.
It comes as the the ACT government last week announced it would establish an advisory council to offer advice on potential law reform amidst mounting community pressure to review the territory’s sentencing and bail laws.
“I’m angry and frustrated at the tokenism and gaslighting being employed by the Attorney-General as a shield from any oversight of his role,” Caruana said.
“Firstly, and embarrassingly, he [Rattenbury] requested an internal study by his own department on bail and sentencing, then he commits to a council with no terms of reference and, to be best of our knowledge, no public disclosure and no direction as to who will be appointed to it.
“For all we know, it will be fully stacked by people sympathetic to his cause — and with no representation from the community.”
Caruana said the union will continue to push for an independent inquiry.
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