Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 October 2022) . . Page.. 2814 ..
I commend Mr Hanson for his tireless advocacy to make our community safer. Most importantly, I commend the families, and I say to them that the Canberra Liberals will stand by you and the Canberra Liberals will stand up for you. I commend Mr Hanson’s motion to the Assembly.
MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (11.00): Every loss of life on our roads is felt deeply throughout our community, and what happened this weekend is tragic. Our hearts are with the families, who need support.
We all want a safe community where people engaging in risky behaviour can be redirected to more positive, healthy behaviours. As minister responsible for youth justice, I have the responsibility and the privilege of working with the Attorney-General on community safety issues. That is why I am speaking today, just to say a few words about why I do not support this motion.
When we want a safe community where people can engage in positive and healthy behaviours, we know that simply locking people up is not rehabilitative. Once someone has been in that system, they are more likely to return. It does not change behaviour, it does not make the community safer, and it is not justice. Cornel West said that ‘justice is what love looks like in public’. It requires listening and it requires a thoughtful response.
We have in Minister Rattenbury an Attorney-General who listens, even when it is hard. I have seen him demonstrate this in his work on the sexual assault reform program, and I expect, and I know that he will take that same approach, of listening carefully and working with those people who are affected, to his work with the Law and Sentencing Advisory Council. If we throw out every minister who takes a moment to think before they act, who will be left to listen?
We can do better than this and our community deserves better than this. A justice reinvestment approach means providing mental health services, alcohol and other drug services, family support, behaviour change, restorative justice programs, community connection programs and support for the victims of criminal offending.
I am a parent with children around the same age as the young people involved in the tragic accident on the weekend. I know what it is like to watch them go out with their friends on the weekend, to feel like your heart is walking out the door with them and to be constantly thinking about their safety and whether they are okay. Those young people had connections everywhere in our community, through their schools, through football clubs or dance or music groups, or through volunteering. Our young people mean a lot to all of us, and it is incredibly important that, when we are thinking about these big issues—about sentencing, about bail, about justice—that we are thinking about the whole of someone’s life and all of those connections in our community. That requires listening and it requires a thoughtful response, and that is what I know our Attorney-General always delivers for us.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (11.04), in reply: I thank everybody for their contributions. Ms Davidson just said that these are complex issues and they require a