Tough laws designed to stop criminals from accessing some of Boorloo/Perth’s most popular entertainment venues will unfairly target Indigenous people, legal experts have warned.
The proposed Anti-Corruption laws will affect Perth’s five recreational areas – Northbridge-Perth, Mandurah, Hillarys, Scarborough and Fremantle – and will ban people convicted of an offense at any of the areas. to enter each region for five years.
Crimes include wounding, murder and alcoholism.
As well as five-year banning laws, the law empowers police to impose six-month banning orders on people who commit crime, anti-social behavior or violence.
WA Athletics and Sports Minister Tony Buti said the legislation, which was tabled in state parliament on October 26, would keep West Australians safe.
“For a long time we have seen incidents and heard stories about bad behavior or violence in entertainment venues,” he said.
“This policy is about protecting everyone – regardless of their background – from hostile or violent people.
“When it comes to making recreational spaces safe, we’re supporting businesses, supporting families and supporting a fun culture without fear.”
Banning orders can be issued if a person is engaged in any type of anti-social or criminal activity, and orders can be issued by WA Police.
Violation of the orders comes with penalties of up to two years in prison and a $12,000 fine.
WA Aboriginal Legal Service director Peter Collins said police issuing restraining orders without legal oversight “will inevitably lead to abuse of police powers to vulnerable Aboriginal people”.
“There was no attempt to speak to ALSWA about the impact of the laws on Aboriginal people,” he said.
Mr Collins said the new laws would come before WA committed to Closing the Gap in reducing the state’s high rate of Indigenous incarceration.
The ALSWA noted that many indigenous peoples do not have the means to appeal exclusion orders.
Noongar legal expert and human rights expert Hannah McGlade said punishing offenders after serving their time was wrong.
“Laws that punish people after their prison sentence is over violate the principle of restorative justice,” said Dr McGlade.
“We need to spend money on indigenous life groups and social justice groups to help the Noongar people. Laws like this are very unfortunate.”
The Western Australian Congress also argued that the law was meaningless, and that First Nations people could be jailed.