JOHN and Denise Siermans want the whole Victorian Adult Parole Board sacked.
But they know it won’t bring back their daughter Sharon, murdered in her Doveton Street South home in April by Jason John Dinsley, who was on parole at the time.
Speaking through family friend Matthew Tol, the Siermans said they felt let down by the parole system.
“If he (Dinsley) hadn’t got parole, he would still be sitting in prison. With 99 priors, he should still be in prison,” Mr Tol said.
“The system is not working and this is a tragedy that need not have happened.
“It’s a needless waste that has damaged so many people, and he’s going to get free board and lodging for the rest of his life.”
Mr Tol was speaking on behalf of the Siermans after yesterday’s release of the Callinan Review into the parole board.
The report, by former High Court judge Ian Callinan, recommends 23 actions, including introducing parole board member term limits, ensuring victims and their families are given adequate notice of an offender’s release and installing a Victoria Police Fugitive Taskforce member in the board’s offices to give a police perspective on parole decisions.
Mr Tol said Sharon would have turned 30 tomorrow and her then four-year-old son, who was in the house when his mother was murdered, was excited about her birthday.
“But this year, there’ll be one empty chair at the table.
“They just don’t want any other family to go through what they are going through,” Mr Tol said.
He said the Siermans had yet to properly grieve their daughter’s loss as they had to immediately take on their grandson’s care.
“When the final sentencing hearing is over and done with, it will give them a little bit of closure and to take the next steps.
“But from my own perspective, it’s a bloody disgrace.”
Premier Denis Napthine said the review confirmed that community safety needed to be the board’s highest priority.
“For the first time, this will be enshrined in law,” Dr Napthine said.
“This report makes it clear that the culture of parole in Victoria must change. We have said before, and Mr Callinan agrees, that parole is a privilege, not a right.
“Mr Callinan plainly says the balance in parole decisions over a period of a decade or more has been tilted too far in favour of the offender. That stops now.”
“Too many tears have been needlessly shed for loved ones who were not afforded the protection they deserved.”
A taskforce chaired by Dr Napthine and including Corrections Minister Edward O’Donohue, Police Minister Kim Wells and Attorney General Robert Clark will oversee the changes.
The full report is available at www.justice.vic.gov.au