Subject: Public confidence in judges

15 Sep 2018 From Phil Bachmann

Michael Gidley MLA

State Member of Parliament

Dear Michael,

As discussed at the Mount Waverley shopping centre, could you provide me details of your policy position on this?

Regards,

Phil Bachmann

Responses

Mr Michael Gidley responded on 18 Sep 2018

Dear Phil,

Thanks for taking the time to get in contact with me following our brief discussion on Saturday.

As mentioned, the Victorian Liberals have put forward a range of policies to improve public safety including:

Please find below the speaking record of the Shadow Attorney General regarding bail changes which the Government has put forward following the Bourke Street tragedy (two bills) and where we believe further improvements can be made:

You can also view more information on our 37 improvements to make Victoria safe again here http://makevictoriasafe.org.au/solutions

As more information on increasing judicial transparency become available I will certainly send it through to you.

Once again thanks for taking the time to chat and email me.

Regards

Michael Gidley | State Member of Parliament - Mount Waverley Electoral District


Mr Phil Bachmann responded on 16 Oct 2018

Dear Michael,

Thanks for that. I've taken a while to reply in part because the Hansard links you sent me do not work for me.

I went to Hansard myself and found this on the matter of bail decisions:

Mr GUY (Leader of the Opposition) (11:29:31) — My question is to the Premier. Earlier this year Paulo Kele committed an horrific home invasion standing over Indian students, putting a knife to a victim's throat and then stealing their car. Astoundingly he was freed on bail. Hit to walk the streets while the victims, terrified, live in fear of his return following this terrifying attack.

Premier, after four years of government, despite all your tough talk, why are violent offenders like Kele still being let out on bail. How can you ever expect any Victorian to trust a word you utter about safety, when for the last four years you have failed so comprehensively to keep the state safe?

https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/daily-hansard/Assembly2018/AssemblyDailyExtractWednesday19September2018fromBook13.pdf

As per our conversation, I am concerned that politicians are grandstanding on law and order issues while measured decisions made by judges are being ignored. I have some questions for you:

  1. Do you agree with Matthew Guy’s assessment that Justice Champion's decision was "astounding"?
  2. Do you have any concerns that Matthew Guy’s comments represent a breach of the separation of powers provisions?
  3. Do you or your leader have information about the Kele matter that allows Mr Guy to stand up in Parliament and assuredly say "Paulo Kele committed [the] home invasion"?
  4. If not, have you any concerns that Mr Guy's comments might prejudice future hearings?

Justice Champion's decision is here:

http://aucc.sirsidynix.net.au/Judgments/VSC/2018/T0159.pdf

Regards,

Phil Bachmann


Mr Michael Gidley responded on 5 Nov 2018

Dear Phil,

Thanks for taking the time to come back to me.

Sometimes links provided to me by the Parliament do change so I’m pleased you were able to find information of use.

Following your feedback that the hansard links to the Shadow Attorney-General on the two bail bills didn’t work, they have provided me with the following links:

You mentioned that you feel politicians are grandstanding on law and order issues. Obviously you’re free to classify any commentary by any Member of Parliament however you see fit. However I don’t see any grandstanding happening. After witnessing victims of serious crimes breakdown at the trama that they and their loved ones have suffered as a consequence of the actions of some offenders who have no regard for the law or anyone else, I see commentary that is finally standing up for those victims. Many whose lives will never be the same again.

When I attend public safety meetings and residents tell me that they no longer feel safe in their own homes, I see those people finally having a voice now Members of Parliament are demanding action to stop increases in violent crime.

In relation to your specific queries:

  1. I think most people, including myself, would be astounded if someone committed the actions you mentioned in point one and was then free to roam the streets on bail.
  2. No. Members of Parliament are elected to represent the interests of our communities. If a Member of Parliament believes a decision handed down by the judiciary is out of step with community expectations, they are perfectly entitled to outline their concerns at the decision handed down
  3. I don’t have specific information on the matter you refer to other than what’s on the public record
  4. No. I know Matthew Guy would never prejudice a matter before the courts

Once you have had an opportunity to read the above links (which are current as of today) feel free to seek any further information from the Shadow Attorney-General. Johns email address is John.pesutto@parliament.vic.gov.au

Thank you again for taking the time to come back to me on these matters.

Kind regards,

Michael


Mr Phil Bachmann responded on 7 Nov 2019

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your precise response to each of my concerns. I have started a website (http://philbachmann.com) in which I write to prominent people talking about what I regard as significant issues. If I publish my original email to you on my website, may I quote your reply also?

With regard to the links. I've clicked on the new links and they still do not work.

I suspect that when a search is done on Hansard, a temporary document is created which expires after a time. May I suggest that you click on "Link to speech" at the top of the Hansard page and send me copies of the "Permalinks"?

I note that the issues traversed in our correspondence are, in part, subject to further public discussion by Mr Guy and the Chief Judge of the County Court:

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/victorian-liberal-leader-matthew-guy-astonished-by-senior-judges-crime-excuses-over-african-youth-crime/news-story/891eabc46f899286d8c2051352e72c02

Regards,

Phil Bachmann


Mr Michael Gidley responded on 7 Nov 2018

Dear Phil,

Thanks for letting me know about those links. Please see the below links that hopefully work:

That’s fine to utilise my responses to you.

I trust this information is of assistance.

Kind regards

Michael


Mr Phil Bachmann responded on 7 Nov 2018

Dear Michael,

(cc: John Pesutto)

The new links worked: I finally had a chance to read Mr Pesutto's thoughts on bail reform. Thank you for persisting in your attempts to provide me with working links.

The shadow attorney-general is clearly very capable and I feel it is a shame that his thoughtful, nuanced approach is not reflected in the party's public presentation on law and order issues.

Yours,

Phil Bachmann


Editor’s notes (11 Mar 2019)

On 24 November 2018, a State election was held which saw a strong swing towards the incumbent Labor government. As a result, Mr Gidley is no longer a member of the Victorian Parliament.

The shadow Attorney General, John Pesutto, was nominated as a candidate to replace Matthew Guy as leader of the Party following the election. Unfortunately, after a recount, Mr Pesutto also lost his seat in the Parliament.