Libs want tougher laws

The calls follow Monday’s sentencing of a Tasmanian man, caught during the national crackdown called Operation Auxin with more than 37,000 images of child pornography.
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Under the current legislation, he was given the maximum one-year jail term and will serve nine months.

Deputy Premier David Llewellyn said the State Government intended to toughen the penalties next year.

Mr Llewellyn said they were working with all other states and territories to develop uniform penalties.

“It is important that all states and territories have consistent penalties for possessing child pornography,” he said.

However, Opposition justice spokesman Michael Hodgman said several other states had already dramatically increased their penalties since the Operation Auxin raids.

“In the last couple of months, the Northern Territory increased its maximum penalties for possession of child pornography from two years to 10 years,” Mr Hodgman said.

“Queensland doubled its maximum penalties from five years to 10 years and South Australia, only 11 days ago, passed legislation increasing penalties for possession of child pornography from one year to five years.”

He said that offenders in Victoria, WA and ACT already faced a maximum penalty of five years.

Law Society of Tasmania president Daniel Zeeman supported the State Government’s move towards tougher penalties.

“It is my view that consideration ought to be given to making it (possession of child pornography) an indictable offence under the Criminal Code,” Mr Zeeman said.

“Twelve months’ jail is inadequate for the type of crime that’s been committed.”

The offence is now prosecuted under the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Enforcement Act and attracts a maximum 12 months jail, a $5000 fine, or both.

Under the Criminal Code, the punishment for an offence is jail for up to 21 years according to the judge’s discretion.

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