Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

1 August 2019

Sarah Courtney, Minister for Health

Protecting our frontline workers

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is committed to protecting our hardworking frontline workers, which is why we committed at the last election to introduce mandatory minimum sentences for serious assaults on frontline workers.

This reflects the community’s view that offences resulting in serious bodily harm to frontline workers are entirely unacceptable.

The Sentencing Amendment (Assault of Certain Frontline Workers) Bill 2019 sought to amend the Sentencing Act 1997 to provide for mandatory minimum sentences of six months in prison for offences that result in serious bodily harm to identified frontline workers.

These include ambulance officers, nurses, midwives, medical orderlies, hospital attendants, child safety officers and correctional services officers.

Section 16A of the Sentencing Act already provides mandatory minimum sentences of imprisonment for offences resulting in serious bodily harm to police officers. Our Bill would have brought penalties for serious assaults on these other frontline workers into line with on and off duty police officers.

Tasmanians on the frontline provide essential services to the community and any threatening behaviour, violence or aggression is completely unacceptable. All Tasmanians deserve to work in a safe environment and the Hodgman Liberal Government will continue to support and protect them.

Labor’s stubborn refusal to support our legislation to introduce mandatory minimum sentences for particular serious offences shows they have learned nothing from their third worst election defeat at the 2018 State Election.

They failed to stand up and protect children from serious sexual assault earlier this year, and now they stubbornly refuse to support our moves to strengthen protections that would help keep frontline workers safe.

More Media Releases from Sarah Courtney

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