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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 9 Hansard (12 August) . .

Page.. 2725..


MR DOSZPOT: Chief Minister, what assurances have you or any directorate provided to the Canberra South Motor Park group that the ACT government will rehouse residents of the park if necessary?

MR BARR: The assurances of protection under the ACT's housing policies.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Chief Minister, what discussion have you or any directorate had in relation to the need for the ACT government to step in and rehouse these residents?

MR BARR: There is no proposal as far as I am aware for any of the residents to require movement.

Crime—restorative justice

MS PORTER: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, can you please explain to the Assembly how restorative justice practices are applied in the ACT?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for her question and for her ongoing commitment to and interest in the issue of restorative justice. Ms Porter has been a very strong advocate for the value of restorative justice in our justice system.

The ACT has strong restorative justice practices in place. These date back to the original reintegrative shaming experiment, as it was known, in 1995. The principles behind that justice tool are just as relevant today and are still going strong today. We know that restorative justice has enjoyed very strong support from across the community. That is because it is a process that focuses on accountability for offenders; sometimes involves them facing their victim to take responsibility; allows their victims to discuss the offending against them and the harm caused to them and others who have been impacted by the crime; and challenges the offender to be actively involved in the restoration and repairs of relationships and wrongdoing.

It is for all these reasons that the government has just committed an additional $2.1 million over four years in the most recent budget to make this justice process an option that is available to all victims of crime in our community. We know that for the past 10 years, with the application of restorative justice for juvenile offenders and for less serious crimes, the process has been overwhelmingly positive for participants, who report satisfaction rates of 97 per cent over the past three years. For matters that proceed to agreements, compliance by offenders has averaged 90 per cent over the past 10 years. These are levels of compliance, when it comes to undertakings made by offenders to victims, that the courts would be envious of. That very high level of compliance is a good thing in providing for better restoration for victims.

The expansion of the Restorative Justice Unit to include adults, as funded in the most recent budget, makes sense considering the positive impact the program has consistently delivered in dealing with juveniles. The phase 2 process will create opportunities for more victims in the ACT to participate in restorative justice, particularly those in vulnerable groups, including women, people with a disability and


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