Happy New Year! It’s easy to say, but we all know people for whom the year does not shape up as “happy”. In 2018, I hope the Justice Party can keep working to reduce those numbers.
We had a good year, as outlined in an end-of-year review. The passport ban on convicted paedophiles, travelling overseas on child rape holidays, was our biggest victory. And McDonalds changing their hiring policy to block convicted sex offenders. Plus the TGA ban on the use of transvaginal mesh for prolapse procedures. That all started with a Senate speech in which I said the mesh was the biggest medical scandal involving Australian women since Thalidomide. I was wrong: Thalidomide affected 200 Australian babies. Mesh has crippled between 15,000 and 20,000 Australian women. And some men, after hernia operations.
With the final report from the royal commission into institutionalised child abuse, I am honoured that Prime Minister Turnbull and Opposition Leader Shorten have agreed I should chair a joint parliamentary committee as a watchdog over the national redress scheme for victims. That starts later in the year. The sooner the better.
This issue is so important, especially for Victoria. It is why we launched the Justice Party in Ballarat in 2016.
The start of 2018 has seen a huge debate over the “African gang crisis” in Victoria. Sadly, it is nothing new. If you have seen the JP Facebook page, I did a story for Ch.7 News, in October 2012, in which I identified those gangs and went out to Springvale to talk to worried Sudanese community leaders. That was more than five years ago.
Those gangs, and law and order, will be major issues in the Victorian state election in November. Some critics of our new party have rightly pointed out that some issues – bail reform, parole reform, and minimum sentences – are largely state issues. That is why we will be standing Justice Party candidates in many electorates in November.
If you would like to be considered as a candidate then go here.
We also want more Victoria party members. If you haven’t signed up and would like to then you can join the party at https://www.justiceparty.com.au/join/.
In this important election year, minor parties will play a major part. We want as much public awareness of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party as possible. You may have seen several vehicles with our ‘Working for Victoria’ magnets out and about. If you are a truckie and would like a couple please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This will be a massive year for our communities, our state and our country. Get involved.
Senator for Victoria