Page 4655 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 November 2005

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occurs in New South Wales, I think, in South Australia and certainly in New Zealand—is that restorative justice can be used after a sentence is imposed. It is an essential part perhaps of the rehabilitation process.

At present in the ACT, for kids it can be used to ensure that a solution is found which might not necessitate the young person going to court. I took pleasure in being involved in a restorative justice conference not all that long ago, several weeks ago, which I found not only very interesting but very effective for all parties concerned. I commend the people involved in organising that. I was a little bit sceptical in relation to a couple of points, but as the conference wore on I could see the benefit it was having. I certainly hope the agreements reached work, because in that instance it would mean a couple of families are happy and the young offender in question would not have to go to court, although, obviously, if there were further breaches he would go to court. Justice certainly was done and everyone walked away feeling a lot better for the experience.

But equally it is important, especially for young people too, that what occurs interstate and elsewhere is provided for here. Restorative justice can be an essential part of the rehabilitation process—what happens after a sentence is imposed. It is used certainly in New Zealand, and to an extent in New South Wales, for even quite serious matters when people are imprisoned, as part of the rehabilitation process, part of getting the offender ready to go out into the big wide world again and, hopefully, not re-offend, and as a way of ensuring that victims are taken into account and their fears and worries alleviated.

This is an important part that should have been in the original bill we did last year, and I wonder why it was not. The idea of these types of omnibus bills is that they should be minor amendments, and this is something to me that is fairly important and should have been covered initially rather than being picked up now, and I wonder why that is the case.

There are a number of other amendments in this bill. The bill amends the Guardianship and Management of Property Act so that the public trustee can waive fees where it is appropriate, such as in cases of financial hardship. I am amazed that has not been picked up before, but there you go; that is a very sensible improvement.

There is a minor improvement to the Remuneration Tribunal Act. It simply adds to the Remuneration Tribunal list the Children and Young People Commissioner. That is logical; that person comes under the Remuneration Tribunal.

The amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act ensures that money earned from interest from rental bond moneys is placed in a trust account separate from the JACS budget. That is where it is meant to be and, whilst I do not necessarily think there are any instances of JACS using that money—I hope not—this makes it absolutely transparently clear that it is going where it should go.

The amendment to the Unclaimed Moneys Act involves a simplified process which will assist people involved in it. Currently, a company holding a sum of unclaimed money is able to use part of the money to fund public advertising, which can be very expensive and deplete much of the money held. At present, companies have to disclaim a lot in the advertisement, which might take a full page. I have been told that it might cost anything between $10,000 and $15,000 to take out the ad and if the unclaimed money that can be

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