Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1649 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

considerable amount they can do to tighten up and reduce this somewhat alarming percentage of persons breaching community service orders at this point in time.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for the Environment) (3.29): Mr Speaker, the government does not support the motion. I will move an amendment. The essential reason why we do not support the motion is that Mr Stefaniak's maths are significantly askew-awry in fact-and I think it is a matter of some embarrassment to Mr Stefaniak. As an old mate of mine, I am loath to embarrass him.

Your maths are appalling, Mr Stefaniak. You made a fundamental mistake in your calculations. In the answer with which you were provided to the question, you were given the number of breaches. You asked for the number of breaches and the number of new registrations. Breaches are calculated as a percentage of the number of people on community service orders who breach CSOs. I should speak through you, Mr Chair. It is impossible, on the numbers provided to Mr Stefaniak, for a calculation to be done to determine a breach rate. It cannot be done.

The figures Mr Stefaniak was provided with simply gave him an indication of new registrations under community service orders. In other words, they confirmed that this government is committed to the community service order process; that it is funded; and that we believe that community service orders-for all the very good reasons Mr Stefaniak described-are a valid, good and supportable sentencing option and one which we are determined to maintain.

The information provided to Mr Stefaniak, for the periods in relation to which he asked and on which I was able to provide information, was that, for the period 1 July 2002 to 31 March 2003, the number of orders expected to be completed was 188 and that the number of breaches in that period was 48.

The breach rate therefore, Mr Speaker, is in fact 23.5 per cent. That is a significant difference from the figure of 35 per cent Mr Stefaniak achieved by taking the number of breaches as a percentage of the number of new registrations, not the number of people serving community service orders. Accepting that people serve these things over a period of time, there were many people serving community service orders who were not new registrants.

You did not ask for that figure, Mr Stefaniak, and I now regret that you did not ask for it-but we also did not provide it. We did not provide it because you did not ask for it. Had you asked for them, you would have had available to you figures which would have allowed you to make the calculation you made.

Mr Stefaniak, you are in the unenviable position of having drawn attention to breach rates in relation to community service orders. As departments do for governments in circumstances such as this, when facing claims such as those made in this motion, the department has done the sums and achieved a historical record of community service order breaches.

It is not pretty for you, Mr Stefaniak. The rate of breach of community service orders when you were Attorney-General far exceeds the current breach rate. In 2000-01, the

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .