Tim Read MP, the Victorian Greens spokesperson on Justice, has welcomed the news that the Andrews Government will commit to introducing a spent convictions scheme.
We tried to introduce a spent convictions bill back in 2017, and introducing spent convictions legislation was a key part of our justice platform during the 2018 state election.
We have spent years lobbying the Government for a scheme alongside peak legal bodies such as the Law Institute of Victoria, Victoria Legal Aid, Liberty Victoria and the Woor-Dungin Criminal Record Discrimination Project.
Victorian Greens spokesperson for justice, Dr Tim Read, said that spent convictions schemes helped remove unnecessary barriers to the reintegration of minor offenders in the community. Old convictions can be barriers to applying for employment, insurance and housing.
He added that to be fully effective he expects the Government to also update the Equal Opportunity Act as part of the scheme, to prevent discrimination on the basis of a person’s irrelevant criminal record.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens spokesperson for justice, Tim Read MP:
'Reoffending and recidivism rates have barely improved in the last ten years, so we welcome the Government’s decision as logical and long overdue.'
'Today’s announcement is an important first step, but we are already well behind the rest of the nation on this, and so the Greens will now be pressuring the government to implement the scheme as soon as possible'