State Govt set to introduce life sentences for convicted meth traffickers

Stock image.
Stock image.

LIFE sentences for meth dealers to help end “an epidemic which is destroying communities” said Premier Mark McGowan.

The State Government introduced legislation to Parliament yesterday to allow courts to put meth dealers in prison for life.

The current maximum prison term for trafficking methamphetamine is 25 years.

One of the new State Government’s first Bills, the Misuse of Drugs Amendment (Methamphetamine Offences) Bill 2017 will also introduce unlimited fines for meth traffickers, up from the current $100,000 maximum.

Premier McGowan said “thousands of families across WA are battling against the scourge of meth”.

“Every day they endure its impacts – violence, arrests, losing houses, jobs and businesses,” he said.

“This needs to stop. The community expects meth traffickers to be locked up for a long time.”

Police Minister Michelle Roberts said legislative reform was part of an “overarching Methamphetamine Action Plan”.

“WA Police are working hard to reduce meth use by disrupting and preventing supply… We’re working to boost that capacity with our 100 strong Meth Border Force, which will target major drug trafficking routes into our State,” she said.

Attorney General John Quigley said the new legislation, once passed, would establish “the harshest regime of penalties in Australia” for meth dealers.

Opposition spokesman for the portfolio of Attorney General Michael Mischin told Guardian Express the plan to lift the maximum sentence for trafficking offences from 25 years imprisonment to life was “simply window-dressing”.

“The only way to influence the sentences imposed by courts is to direct them as to how the community wants these offences dealt with. That is why we had proposed set minimum terms of imprisonment for various levels of trafficking offence,” he said.

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