Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 13 October 2022) . . Page.. 3103 ..
MR BARR: The racing club has been talking with harness racing about these opportunities, and potential co-location. It is not resolved, but it is a potential opportunity.
The government’s intent is to work with the relevant stakeholders to see whether an outcome can be achieved. It is not guaranteed, but we will endeavour to do so. It would be our intent to ensure that, out of a potential outcome that provides that funding certainty for the racing industry and reduces its reliance on taxpayer funding, there would be a benefit for the community, and that benefit could be realised through more land for housing.
I believe that there is an opportunity. The government intends to pursue it. I have already made all of these statements publicly, but I absolutely reconfirm that this is our pathway forward from here. Assembly members should not be surprised when different elements of this proposal and this work come before them in the various forms that it would do through future budgets, potential Territory Plan variations, and ways to achieve a dual outcome.
I thank members for their contributions on this particular matter, and acknowledge the passionate views that are held. We will endeavour to find a way through this that will achieve an outcome for everyone.
MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (5.17): I want to touch briefly on two disappointments in this allocation. They are certainly issues that arose during estimates.
It is pretty clear that recidivism is a significant focus, policy-wise, of the Attorney-General. We have heard a lot about this over several years, including the 25by2025 policy, in which the Attorney-General committed to reducing recidivism by 25 per cent by 2025, to 31.7 per cent. However, it is most disappointing that, as at 30 June this year, only $57 million of the $132 million to be invested by 2025 has been spent. So there will be quite a rush of expenditure going forward, and I look forward to seeing what that will entail and capture.
Funding for reintegration pathways was cut by nearly $40 million in capital funding in 2021-22, and no further funding has been allocated. Further, the purpose-built reintegration centre at AMC has also received no funding in this budget. That is most disappointing. I do question the government’s strength of commitment to this policy of reducing recidivism, and I will be monitoring the progress of their expenditure from here on.
Something else of great concern that had a very personal impact was to do with the quality of court recordings in the Supreme Court, in the court system. As I mentioned during estimates, a victim of domestic violence came into my office and told a story of atrocious behaviour by the accused and guilty party—the perpetrator of domestic violence—in the witness box during sentencing. This perpetrator, looking directly at the camera, and knowing that the victim was watching, in another isolated area, made very threatening gestures with their hands—gestures indicating that harm was meant for someone. I think we can guess who that was harm was meant for.