Page 2042 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 28 June 2023

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Later this afternoon, I will move a motion about expanding restorative justice in the ACT. I strongly support justice reinvestment, restorative justice and investment in prevention. However, these objectives should be balanced with the level of risk that offenders pose to innocent people in the community. This is the balance that our criminal justice system needs to address. The dangerous driving committee recommended multiple initiatives, such as specific high-risk offender programs, because there is a very clear profile of offending that is occurring on our roads.

I implore this Assembly to support the Bail Amendment Act 2023. By removing the presumption of bail for serious dangerous driving offences, we will improve public safety on our roads. Finally, in speaking to the victims of dangerous driving in the ACT, I am so sorry for your loss, and I will continue to keep fighting for reform.

Debate (on motion by Mr Cain) adjourned to the next sitting.


DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (3.07): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) within the ACT Government, there are a number of programs and initiatives underway to work towards making Canberra a restorative city;

(b) a “restorative city” is based on the principles of “restorative practice”. According to the 2019-2020 ACT Restorative City Vision, restorative practice is “all about recognising that relationships are central to our wellbeing, community and society. Restorative practices can be used as a shared approach to problem solving based on equal respect, accountability and support.”;

(c) restorative justice is a process used across the world as a process of independent, facilitated contact, which supports constructive dialogue between a victim and a person who has harmed, arising from an offence or alleged offence;

(d) restorative justice can work alongside the criminal justice system, or as an alternative pathway to the formal criminal justice system. It is often noted that restorative justice offers a process that is empowering for victim-survivors of crime;

(e) the most common forms of restorative justice programs operating in Australian criminal justice systems are victim-offender mediation, conferencing (for both adult and young offenders) and circle sentencing;

(f) the ACT was the second jurisdiction in Australia to introduce restorative justice for prosecutable offences in 1994, primarily for youth offenders (aged 10-17 years old);

(g) restorative justice is legislated in the ACT through the Crimes (Restorative Justice) Act 2004 (the Act). The Restorative Justice Unit (RJU) is part of the Justice and Community Safety Directorate and

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