Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3583 ..
Sadly, I have had to speak on ministerial overreach. It was extraordinary to see that temporary and emergency COVID powers, some of which were never actually used, were enshrined into ACT legislation. I speak in particular of the ability of the minister, now under law, to exempt an individual, business or other entity from an ACT tax. This was introduced as a COVID emergency measure to assist with relief to the business community in particular and to ratepayers in the territory. To take such power and enshrine it in legislation is extremely concerning and a sign of ministerial overreach. It would be shocking, for example, to see a Dan Andrews extraordinary powers bill introduced in the territory. But knowing how the ACT and Victoria seem to compete for the title of socialist republic state in Australia, who knows what is next?
I would like to commend other Canberra Liberals shadow ministers. Mr Hanson has mentioned the bail reform law, which was foolishly, and shamefully, defeated by MLAs in this house—apart from the Canberra Liberals, of course. It was designed to give comfort to frontline community service providers like police, emergency service workers, corrections officers, ambulance officers and others—to give them the comfort that someone who has assaulted one of them should not have the presumption of bail when they are next in court. That was shamefully defeated by the Labor-Greens MLAs in this place.
I also commend the Canberra Liberals for calling for changes to the Age-friendly city plan 2020-2024 to improve accessibility for those living with dementia. And there are many other achievements I can present. I am pleased to be part of a team of people who punch above their weight in this Assembly, who have brought laws forward, some of which have been successful and some of which should have been successful. That is a commitment we will continue to bring to this place.
MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (11.33): As the Greens spokesperson for corrections, I would like to say that the Greens want to create a safe, healthy, connected community by building communities, not prisons. I am glad to see these values put into practice in this budget, and I am proud of the measures which associated ministers have announced.
Whilst there is much to be applauded, there is also still a lot of work to do. Firstly, I would like to see a culture that puts human rights at the centre of correctional services, so that staff at every level incorporate consideration of human rights into every decision, and so that the human rights of detainees are upheld in a vulnerable environment such as the prison.
We also want to see the root causes of crime addressed. We want to see the underlying reasons for crime—such as mental health, socioeconomic status, trauma and poverty—addressed in a holistic response to crime. We acknowledge that the justice system is flawed and we still have work to do in this space.
I also want to reaffirm our commitment to justice reinvestment and reducing recidivism. I want to see the transitional release centre being used to its full capacity. It is designed to help detainees reintegrate with the community and therefore reduce