Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2367 ..
The evidence is clear. The experts have told us what to do. I would be incredibly disappointed if, at some point in the future, such legislative reform was not unanimously supported by this whole Assembly.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (11.42), in reply: I thank members for their contribution to the debate, both on the previous date this was discussed and today. Coincidentally, today is the day that the consultation closes on the public discussion paper. I look forward to seeing the submissions when they are briefed up to me.
I should be very clear that that is not the end of the conversation. There is still a lot of work to be done in this space. As the discussion paper alludes to, and as I alluded to in my remarks to this chamber several weeks ago now, there is quite a lot of complex policy work to do in this space to ensure that we have a robust system that supports young people and helps them in a therapeutic way to address the challenging behaviours in their life and put their lives on a better trajectory.
Mr Davis very eloquently alluded to the human side of this discussion. Whilst it is a legal reform, it is a very important social reform as well in terms of giving our young people the best chance at having great lives in this city and making sure that we do not leave children behind and we do not simply place them in the custodial system—that, in fact, we seek to work much harder to give them the best possible future.
I am very grateful for the statement released today from a coalition of over 20 service delivery, human rights, legal and representative organisations in the ACT, underlining their support for this reform. The nature of those organisations ranges from the Youth Coalition and the Council on Social Service through to the Law Society as well as some of the organisations that would provide the kind of services we might expect, such as Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation and the Northside Community Service. The statement underlines the community’s understanding of the importance of this issue. In particular, I refer to the remarks from Kim Davison from Gugan Gulwan, who notes the particular impact and potential impact for these reforms on young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community.
I look forward to the continuing discussion, both in this place and in the community, on this reform. As I said, we have a lot of work still to do, particularly to get our service responses right to enable this reform to take place. I look forward to updating the Assembly as we make further progress on this matter.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Debate resumed from 22 June 2021, on motion by Mr Barr:
That the Assembly take note of the paper:
ACT Government’s work to create sustainable Canberra jobs—Update—Ministerial statement, 22 June 2021—