MS PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (09:56:14): Again I will attend a vigil for a young murdered woman killed in my electorate in a park where thousands of us walk, work out and play. Again I am feeling immensely sad and helpless.
Melbourne woman Courtney Herron was the ninth woman to be murdered in Victoria this year. That is nine out of the 24 women killed this year in Australia.
She was a person at the end of the day, just like all of us. She was just trying to get by— said her friend Jessica Bateman. Other friends of Courtney described her as a kind-hearted young woman in the grips of addiction who dreamed of getting clean. They said she was on housing waiting lists and could not get on the methadone program without a secure address.
This incident raised issues again on safety in our city and the state’s ability to accommodate those who are struggling. Nine women in Victoria have been murdered in less than six months—22 weeks to be precise.
No doubt most, if not all, of the perpetrators will be locked up. No doubt many of them would have been diagnosed with mental illness. No doubt drug addiction and homelessness have also played a role in these deaths. There are 1600 prison beds, but that does not make us feel safer—that is after the fact.
A sign that we are safer and addressing crime will not be that we fill those 1600 beds, it will be that we no longer need those beds because we have reduced drug addiction, mental health issues and homelessness. Courtney is another tragic reminder that we are just not doing enough.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Members Statement given 29/5/19