Page 1948 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 27 June 2023

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will ultimately overtake the critical services building as the largest single health infrastructure project ever undertaken and is critical to futureproof our hospital system. The government took a commitment to the last election to continue the planning and design work for a new northside hospital to be ready for construction mid-decade, and this budget will deliver. The work we have undertaken in the past couple of months in this place also supports this initiative.

The government is delivering on its plan for Canberrans, and the budget that the Chief Minister and Treasurer will table this evening— (Time expired.)

Crime—youth

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, in answer to a question dated 24 May 2023, you provided me a list of the 10 highest serial youth offenders on bail over the last two years. Over two years, the number one serial youth offender on bail allegedly committed 57 offences; number two committed 48 offences; number 3 was 44 offences; number 4 was 33 offences; number 5 was 25 offences; number 6 committed 24 offences; offender number 7 committed 23 offences; number 8 committed 22 offences; and numbers 9 and 10 tied at 20 offences. Averaged out, our number one serial youth offender was committing an offence every 12 days. Attorney, how have you let youth offences get to these astounding levels?

MR RATTENBURY: I reject the premise of Mrs Kikkert’s question and the assertion she makes. The government has been very focused in these areas and we are looking at developing a range of programs through the reforms to the minimum age of criminal responsibility that particularly target addressing young people who are involved in the criminal justice system. It is important to note that those statistics Mrs Kikkert has cited apply to young people up to the age of 18. There is a range of factors here but clearly the premise that we simply do it like we have always done it and seek to address this problem by locking up young offenders or changing bail presumptions is not the answer. The answer is to seek to intervene in a way that changes the trajectory of these young people’s lives and addresses the factors that see them involved in repeat criminal offences along the lines that Mrs Kikkert has described.

MRS KIKKERT: Attorney, what are the three top programs you are talking about to address these issues? Just three!

MADAM SPEAKER: You have asked the question, Mrs Kikkert.

MR RATTENBURY: I am trying to understand exactly what Mrs Kikkert is talking about, whether she is talking about the new reforms that are coming through or whether we are talking about existing programs. I am happy to provide her with a detailed list on notice.

MR CAIN: Attorney, how does your government’s failure to rehabilitate these youth impact community safety?


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