If I heard ABC News correctly last night, you’re more likely to die in Victoria because of the inadequate resourcing of hospital emergency departments than you are to be killed on the roads. Whether or not that extraordinary claim checks out, it is not in dispute that emergency rooms are massively overstretched, with patients facing huge waits to be seen, let alone treated.
And yet I can’t find the story on the ABC News website.
Instead, all we hear about is the big party politicians banging on about law and order (and their plans to make crime worse by building more prisons and underfunding programs that actually work) and the plight of first home buyers (and their plans to make that plight worse by cutting stamp duty and keeping the first home buyers’ grant) – and not a word about emergency rooms.
How are emergency rooms not a much bigger issue? How does their under-resourcing not affect all of us?
But no. What we get is Ted Baillieu giving us another reason why the Liberals need to lose on Saturday: his moronic plan to extend mandatory sentencing. You could only support that if you genuinely do not understand how courts sentence offenders in the real world, and what injustices result when the power to apply long-standing sentencing principles is taken away from the well-trained people who’ve actually heard the evidence and the arguments in specific cases.
The Liberals do not present any evidence for their assertion that “current Victorian sentencing practices are out of line with community expectations”. Because they’re not – although it is true to say that community understanding of sentencing practices is being massively distorted by relentless misreporting in the commercial media. But the last Sentencing Advisory Council study on the issue revealed that the public is, if anything, less harsh than the real judges, when apprised of all the facts in a case.
The Liberals “acknowledge the Coalition will have to provide more prison funding” for their destructive, unjust plan – money that will not be going to something useful like, for example, emergency departments in hospitals.