Legislative Council: Thursday, November 03, 2022


Frontline Retail Workers

The Hon. S.G. WADE (15:17): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking questions of the Attorney-General, regarding frontline retail workers, specifically in relation to aggravated offences.

Leave granted.

The Hon. S.G. WADE: Yesterday, the Attorney-General outlined the government's election commitment to legislate for aggravated offences with higher penalties for people who assault frontline retail workers. I ask the Attorney:

1. Who did the government consult with prior to making this regulatory change?

2. Is the government looking at adding further categories of workers to the aggravated offences?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:18): I thank the honourable member for his question and his interest in this area. As I outlined yesterday, it is something that this government has already done. We received a lot of representations from those who work in that area, the frontline retail workers, as well as those who represent frontline retail workers. As a result, we have already increased the penalty by making it an element of aggravation for that offence, if you are a retail worker.

I don't have the details with me, but there are a number of other areas of occupation that fall into that that make it an aggravated offence as well. From memory, it includes things like emergency workers, police and I think transport workers, but am happy to check on that. Certainly, we are happy to consult further, and if there is a case to be made we are always responsive to making sure our community is as safe as it can be.