Bendigo Advertiser letters to the editor

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you have something to get off your chest? Send your letter to the editor to
HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you have something to get off your chest? Send your letter to the editor to

Justice system failing us

Although, like many others, I often have an opinion, I don’t usually bother getting involved or commenting on what I read or hear in the media.

However, after reading the Bendigo Advertiser’s front page story on Tuesday titled “No justice”, I am absolutely aghast and incensed.

I accept the article is an opinion of Luke Docherty, a local criminal lawyer, and he is quite rightly entitled to his opinion, which I am respectful of.  

However, that doesn’t mean that I, or anyone else, has to agree with it.  

Just when I think to myself “nothing surprises me anymore” in relation to our judicial system and process, I read this article. In my humble opinion, this article is nothing short of dribble. What a ridiculous proposition.

There is a very good reason Victoria is labelled “The Lawless State”.

You don’t have to delve too deeply into sentencing practices over the last decade or so to realise that the current sentencing regime is extremely lenient.  

One of the principles of sentencing is that the sentence ought to be a specific and general deterrence to the offender and to others. Really, it’s quite laughable isn’t it? Can someone tell me what deterrent there is in the sentencing practices as they stand at the moment? No need, I can answer that one myself. None.

Time and time again criminals walk free. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard a magistrate say to a criminal “If you come back before this court again, you will be going to jail”. This is a throw away line which is commonly stated but very rarely practiced.

Tougher sentencing is absolutely what is needed, and it’s needed urgently.

Mr Docherty states: “If people think they are going to prison for even longer then they will be less likely to plead guilty, which causes more delays and leaves cases hanging over the courts, victims and witnesses for longer.” More delays? Well, what’s new about that? Victims and witnesses, correct me if I am wrong, but are they now taken into consideration?  And as for criminals fearing spending longer periods in prison, so what?

Here’s a thought for the criminals, how about not committing crime and risking going to jail?

An overhaul of our entire criminal justice system is long overdue. We, as a state and indeed a nation, have gone way too soft on criminals and crime, which is why the state is currently in a criminal activity crisis.  

Criminals are all too well aware that the likelihood of them receiving any sort of meaningful punishment for the crimes they are committing is remote at best.   

Another consideration that should be taken into account when sentencing is community expectation.

I can assure you that at the moment, the community feels unrepresented and extremely let-down.

Mark Herman, East Bendigo

NBN a national disaster

Ah, the National Broadband network. The Turnbull government told us that they were the only ones capable of delivering a reliable service. Well, this reliable service has a cost blowout from $29 billion to $56 billion and counting, and still doesn't work satisfactorily.

The complaints from people are just another indication of the incompetence of this government when it comes to delivering adequate services for regional people, the same people who have a habit of telling it like it is, with this unreliable, chaotic system of connection.

So, after allegedly buggering up the whole show, they now keep telling us they are the only ones who can fix it. Sounds reasonable I suppose, as long as you are not without your landline and computer for months at a time trying to run a business, or for personal reasons. Can the LNP do anything that does not involve causing the public distress? It seems not.

Ken Price, Eaglehawk


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