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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . .

Page.. 1435..


colleague the Minister for Corrections, we will be establishing a dedicated inspectorate of custodial services that will have oversight powers in regard to Bimberi. The Community Services Directorate is working closely with the Justice and Community Safety Directorate to establish this office.

The Community Services Directorate has also worked with the Human Rights Commission to develop a draft charter of rights for young people in Bimberi Youth Justice Centre. This will provide an easy guide for young people while at Bimberi, setting out how they should expect to be treated, and how they should treat others while at the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre, similar to the existing ACT charter of rights for children and young people in out-of-home care. The development of the draft charter to date has involved consultation with stakeholders, including young people at Bimberi. I look forward to being able to release the charter following a final round of consultation.

Bimberi is the most open and transparent youth justice centre in Australia. Current and planned oversight mechanisms will maintain the ACT as a leader in transparency of services to young people who are detained. The Community Services Directorate recognises that it cannot deliver great outcomes for young people alone. Our oversight bodies are an important partner, but I would also like to thank the teachers at Murrumbidgee Education and Training Centre, the youth workers from Gugan Gulwan and Winnunga Nimmityjah, the nurses and doctors, the psychologists and drug and alcohol workers, the YMCA workers, and all those who work in Bimberi to keep vulnerable young people safe, strong and connected to the community every day of the week.

When young people are detained at Bimberi there is a need to balance the rehabilitation needs of the young person and the safety and security of other young people, staff and visitors at the centre. Achieving this balance is not easy. The consequences of not getting this balance right might be missed opportunities to engage young people in activities that lead to productive lives, or it might be that young people and staff are put at serious risk.

As I conclude my statement I would like to reiterate that the staff who work as part of our youth justice system are committed employees who support some of the most vulnerable young people in our community and are proud to do so. These employees have a challenging yet rewarding job. Each day they are making a real difference in working towards better outcomes for vulnerable young people, and in turn making our community a safer place for everyone.

Not many careers result in the sort of scrutiny from the media, the Assembly, and the independent oversight that youth justice involves. But the commitment to transparency and dedication to better care and improved service is based on an understanding of the importance of ensuring that young people in our youth justice system are given better choices and a new start.

While we have made progress in the implementation of the blueprint for youth justice, this commitment to our young people and those who care for them has not lessened. The new task force I mentioned earlier will provide an opportunity to acknowledge


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