Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 September 2022) . . Page.. 2640 ..
Prosecutions to decide to mount an appeal provides that accountability. What they are asking for, I think, is accountability, and I think it exists.
MR CAIN: Attorney, does a record number of appeals lead to a loss of confidence in the justice system?
MR RATTENBURY: I refer Mr Cain to my earlier answer, where I indicated that I believe this is how the system works. Other people may see that differently. But, after careful consideration over an extended period of time, this has been the way that people have worked out to bring accountability to the judicial decision-making process.
Sentencing is a difficult and complex matter. There is no doubt about that. I refer to the fact that, when a judge is sentencing, they are required to weigh up many competing factors to impose a sentence that is proportionate, fair and in the interests of justice for the community and for the individual being sentenced. I think it is difficult at times for people to form a view on these things, because what we see in the press does not often reflect the full circumstances that are presented before the judge and all the factors that the judge or judicial officer must weigh up.
The two significant studies that have been done on this in Australia have both shown that, where the general community are given details about individual cases and asked what sentence they think would be appropriate, the community is more lenient than the judges—the judges imposed stronger penalties than the community would in the same set of circumstances. I think we need to be mindful of that complexity and reflect on the fact that there are strong systems of accountability built into judicial decision-making.
MR DAVIS: My question is to the Chief Minister in his capacity as the Treasurer. On 22 August, the minister for education, the Education Directorate and the Australian Education Union ACT branch, released the report from the Teacher Shortage Task Force, along with its 20 recommendations aimed at recruiting, retaining and supporting a high-quality teaching workforce. The task force and subsequent report are nation-leading work and a credit to the minister; her directorate, the employer; and the union, the employees working together to acknowledge and solve a challenging and complex problem. But many of these recommendations will require additional resourcing. Will you, as Treasurer, ensure that the minister and her directorate receive the additional resourcing required to enact all of the report’s recommendations as soon as possible?
MR BARR: As Mr Davis is aware, the suite of proposals that are put forward in that particular package contain a mixture of initiatives, some of which can be met within the existing resources of the Education Directorate. Those that would require additional resources may be considered as part of enterprise bargaining discussions, but the usual process for allocation of additional resources in any area of government is principally through the annual budget process. We do, of course, have a budget review that does enable a series of smaller initiatives to be supported.