Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 24 March 2022) . . Page.. 611 ..
I also ask whether fining people is effective. Does it actually drive behavioural change? Does it actually incentivise people to do the right thing? The research is very much out on the effectiveness of fines as a deterrent. The summary by the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research puts it well, when it says:
In general, there is little that would suggest a marginal deterrent effect of court-imposed fines and licence disqualification for persons convicted of driving offences.
In closing, is it really worth the government’s time and money to pursue these? Is there a better alternative out there? That is why my motion calls on the government to take a look at whether our current system is really working for us and for all Canberrans.
MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (3.15): On behalf of the Canberra Liberals, I speak to Mr Braddock’s motion to review the current compliance and enforcement system for fines for minor transgressions. The Canberra Liberals agree with the large majority of the points that Mr Braddock wishes the Assembly to note and will be supporting what he is calling on the ACT Labor-Greens government to do. The Canberra Liberals agree that fines have a disproportionate impact on marginalised communities and that this needs to be directly addressed. We also believe in measures to keep people out of the court system and understand that restorative justice options are preferable.
The Canberra Liberals will always advocate for more information and evidence, including statistics, but I want to understand how this information will be gathered, at what cost to taxpayers and by what means, including if this work will be tendered. The Canberra Liberals do have concerns about the statement that “the ACT government has taken steps to mitigate harms”. This was with respect to disproportionately affected communities.
A very significant promise made by the Labor-Greens government was to develop a reintegration centre at the AMC, to the tune of $30 million. As members are aware, in October 2021 Minister Gentleman said that this project had been put on hold “due to changing circumstances and accommodating priorities”. The minister also said that there was no timeline yet for developing or designing a centre and the associated reintegration processes.
The ACT’s recidivism rate currently sits at 38.5 per cent, according to the 2021 annual report. The government wants to reduce this by 25 per cent by 2025—a commendable goal. However, can the government be trusted to reduce recidivism? Three years out from meeting their own target, a major $30 million investment in reintegration has not been actioned; nor has it been given a timeline for commencement or completion. Shame!
The Labor-Greens government fail, and fail again, to deliver services on time—or at all in this case. It does distress me that, yet again, a Greens backbencher is introducing a motion to the Assembly relating to multimillion-dollar Labor-Greens government policy commitments.