Cleary wants apology for provocation defence

The Age: Cleary wants apology for provocation defence. November 22, 2014. Jason Dowling and Vanessa Desloires

Victoria’s parliament would be requested to make a formal apology to the women and families affected by the state’s abandoned provocation defence if Phil Cleary is elected to state parliament.

Mr Cleary, a former independent member of federal parliament and anti-violence campaigner, is running for the Voice for the West party in the upper house Northern Metropolitan Region.

He said it was time for the state to acknowledge the hurt and damage caused by the partial defence of provocation against a charge of murder that was abandoned in 2005.

Voice for the West candidate Phil Cleary with Carmel Boyce and Jane Ashton, who have been impacted by the use of the provocation defence. Photo: Simon O’Dwyer

Mr Cleary, whose sister Vicki was killed by her ex-partner in 1987, said “we need to apologise to all those women who suffered…we need to look at how we address the violence and the culture”.

Mr Cleary also supports Labor’s policy for a royal commission into family violence.

Mr Cleary’s campaign is led by former lord mayor Kevin Chamberlin who said state parliament needed more independent voices because the major parties had been unable to “deal with issues affecting the north of Melbourne, including “inappropriate development and poor urban planning, stretched public transport, congestion and providing adequate child care, schools and health services”.

The Sex Party’s Fiona Patten also hopes the preference lottery falls her way in the Northern Metropolitan upper house race next Saturday.

Ms Patten said it could be a battle between the Sex Party and Family First for the last spot in the region and it would come down to which party received a higher primary vote.

“We are a civil liberties party that would push for drug law reform and voluntary euthanasia law reform, progressive polices that the major parties have not championed,” she said.

In the upper house Western Region Mark Farrell from the Democratic Labour Party hopes to be elected on a platform of improving services.

“All country medical facilities should carry (snake) anti-venom stock. Vets always carry anti-venom, so why doesn’t the same apply for humans?” he says.

Also high on Mr Farrell’s agenda is pushing the government to pay for insurance for sporting clubs, which currently makes fees prohibitively expensive for many, including lower socio-economic families and migrants.

In the Eastern Victoria region, Jeff Bourman, a former police officer turned IT contractor and gun enthusiast hopes to win a seat in parliament with the Shooters and Fishers Party.

Pundits give him a good chance.

Mr Bourman, a recreational rabbit and fox hunter, wants changes to gun laws including abolishing registration for hunting and target rifles.

On broader issues, Mr Bourman says he is “for” the East West Link, but also for more public transport.

Mr Bourman says his party’s key message is that “law abiding shooters are not the problem – punish the criminals”.

He also says the party will oppose the creation of new national parks.

“Effectively, when something becomes a national park you start to lock out the users. There’s no benefit to having a national park over a state park,” Mr Bourman says.

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