Premier says ‘nothing off limits’ in law review after Melbourne tragedy

The public outrage following the Melbourne tragedy is something we can all relate to. Many of you here at SAS
Five people were killed in Friday's tragedy in Melbourne's Bourke St mall, prompting a review of Victoria's bail system. Source: NineNews/YouTube

The public outrage following the Melbourne tragedy is something we can all relate to.

Many of you here at SAS have echoed the calls coming from across the country, asking how someone like Dimitrious Gargasoulas could have been allowed to get bail and then drive into a crowd of innocent people going about their daily lives.

It’s a question that so many have been grappling with – the very same question we all grappled with after the death of Jill Meagher in 2012 when she was killed by a serial offender on parole.

And finally it looks like something might finally be done to solve the issue!

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is promising a “top to bottom” review of the state’s bail laws in the wake of Friday’s horrific tragedy.

It’s something many have said is long overdue.

So, what is Andrews proposing to do?

Well, he said “nothing will be off limits”.

“This will be a full examination for urgent advice for legislative change to keep Victorians safe,” he’ told Nine News.

“We owe it, all of us, to the memory and the legacy, each of the families, and those victims are owed nothing less than the hard work required and our singular focus to make the change necessary to make Victoria safer.”

Read more: Police call for changes after Melbourne tragedy

Among the things being changed is Victoria’s volunteer bail justices, who step in for after-hours bail hearings.

Andrews said the government will establish an after-hours Magistrates Court – a “night court” instead.

“The work involves additional magistrates and additional resources. No expense will be spared,” he told Nine News.

“Magistrates will be on-call as soon as possible – in just a matter of days. A night court will be established a little while after that.”

But it’s not something that will hope overnight.

The review has a deadline of April 3 to provide the government with “urgent advice” about changing the bail system.

According to Attorney-General Martin Pakula, the review will aim to balance community protection and the presumption of innocence.

“We want him to look at the current exceptional circumstances, show cause and unacceptable risk provisions and provide us with advice on whether they appropriate in the current circumstances,” he’s quoted as telling a press conference by Nine News.

“The overall system of bail justice use is something we’re going to ask Justice Coghlan to look at more generally and whether or not in regards to after-hours offences, we need different rules for different cases.

“We’re asking him to look at this top to bottom.”

The bail laws review comes at the death toll from Friday’s tragedy rises to five, with fears for another two people who remain in a critical condition in hospital.

Bail laws aren’t the only thing some parts of the community want reviewed.

There have also been widespread calls to review mental health services, while the police want a review of Victoria’s no-pursuit policy.

What do you think about this? Do you support a review of the laws? What would you like to see changed?





  1. Therese  

    Police are in a no win situation. If they pursue and there is an accident – it is their fault. They don’t pursue and this happens – why did they sit back. It is really difficult to work with one hand tied behind your back – let alone two.
    When drivers “take off” it is them who start the pursuit and maybe that needs to be looked at more carefully. If you don’t run – then there is no chase. Police don’t know why they run – obviously to evade arrest – surely not just for the fun of a chase. The police are charged with keeping our communities as safe as is possible – I believe it is about time we got behind them – supported them in their thankless job. The families/friends of these offenders – don’t encourage them.
    Instead of the community and politicians constantly blaming the police – support them.
    Then when they do get them before a magistrate – the offender is more often than not given bail!!
    It is easy to forget that it is the police that have to knock on someones door and tell them their loved one is not coming home. It is the police that have to try and find out what happened – often with onlookers obstructing their enquiries It is the police that stay at the scene of the incident until all is cleared away. Ambo’s are the same. They go into combat every day. It is unimaginable what they witness in the course of their day
    Thank you Police and ambo’s for your service

    • Helen Daoutakis  

      Yes thank you to the police and ambulance people for there never ending good work! They are doing there best! Society must be behind them and support them! Government needs to be tougher on gun laws, drugs etc! If our laws were stricter then maybe these crimes wouldn’t happen as much simple!

  2. Wendy  

    I have no problem with the police. They probably should have fired at him and got him in the head I know it would have been hard on the police but at least it would have stopped him and the justice system would not have had a say in it. The justice system is week the judges should know previous records so they can sentence them properly. This and if the judge had listened to the police this bad situation could have been avoided . Blame should go to the judge who went against the police recommendation .Now they should correct things he is guilty of this atrocity so he should be shown no mercy

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