Aim to deter damage

Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Opposition spokeswoman Margaret Quirk and West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti with members of the Sikh community.
Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Opposition spokeswoman Margaret Quirk and West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti with members of the Sikh community.

Announcing the legislation at the Sikh temple in Bennett Springs that was vandalised with graffiti last year, Girrawheen MLA and Citizenship and Multicultural Interests spokeswoman Margaret Quirk said WA�s laws needed to reflect a genuine multicultural society.

The Criminal Code Amendment (Criminal Damage to Places of Worship) Bill 2015 was recently introduced to State Parliament and followed a recent spate of criminal damage and graffiti on places of worship.

The Opposition�s legislation has been designed to create �circumstances of aggravation� for criminal damage on places of worship to carry a penalty of 14 years in prison.

Presently without circumstances of aggravation, similar damage carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.

Ms Quirk said temples, mosques and synagogues recently had fallen prey to graffiti and criminal damage.

�These disgraceful attacks are not welcome in WA and are completely unacceptable,� she said.

�WA Labor�s legislation will not eliminate religious bigotry; it�s about sending a strong message to people who attempt to create disharmony in our community.

�No West Australian should feel intimidated from practising their religion or celebrating their culture.�