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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 12 Hansard (30 October) . .

Page.. 3871..

faced the people who offended against them, their offenders have had to deal directly with the consequences, and hearing the consequences, of their crimes against the victim and they are able then to move on with their lives.

So we see financial restitution, we see emotional restitution, an apology, and we see a better engagement by victims in the criminal justice process. And that is a good thing for everyone engaged in the criminal justice process.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Attorney, how does this work in the ACT on restorative justice compared with other states and territories?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Berry for the supplementary. Compared to other jurisdictions, the ACT has a pretty comprehensive RJ framework, although it is still only limited at this time to juvenile offenders. In other jurisdictions we see RJ used to a lesser extent for some circumstances, but it is not as comprehensive as the ACT scheme. Here in the ACT we have the capacity for referral to RJ by the police directly but also by the court or the Director of Public Prosecutions, where appropriate. That gives the capacity for a wider range of people to be brought into the RJ framework.

It is worth stressing, of course, that in the RJ framework it is only able to occur with the consent of both the victim or victims and the offender or offenders. Both need to be willing to be engaged. We see a high level of compliance and willingness to be engaged by both victims and offenders because often it is pointed out to them that this is a much more effective way of bringing resolution to the criminal offending than the traditional court-based system. It is not appropriate in every circumstance, but it is appropriate in many.

The government continues to look at options for expanding RJ. Considerations around that will be part of the government's justice reform strategy, which is looking at alternative sentencing options and how they can be applied more broadly. For example, at the moment RJ only captures young people. There is the capacity to capture adult offenders in the RJ program and there is the capacity to capture serious offending in the program as well, including crimes of violence and potentially even sexual offending.

These are matters that will be the subject of more detailed consideration through the justice reform program, which the government has laid out its funding commitment to in the most recent budget.

Convention centres—expansion

MR SMYTH: My question is to the minister for tourism. Minister, are you aware that the Victorian government have announced this week that they will support the extension of the Melbourne convention centre to secure and grow the market share for Victoria?

MR BARR: Yes, I am aware a number of state governments are investing in convention centre facilities.

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