Page 997 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 24 March 2015

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This is a substantial report, and I hope it will form the basis for further action by this government. It offers a more consistent approach to sentencing and support for innovative diversionary options. In the ACT we have a lower crime rate and a lower imprisonment rate than other jurisdictions. Being a smaller jurisdiction, we can be more responsive to change and what can be done to rebuild the lives of offenders and victims. We also have a generally less sensationalist media that can deal with the complexity of issues around crime, punishment and sentencing. I thank the 19 organisations and individuals who presented submissions and the 24 witnesses who appeared before the committee.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (10.47): I rise to add a few comments in relation to the report to those of my colleagues. Firstly, I thank my fellow committee members: chair, Mr Doszpot; deputy chair, Dr Bourke; Mrs Jones; and former members. I also acknowledge the very hard work and diligence of the secretary, Dr Brian Lloyd, in bringing this report together.

As members know, I came latterly to the inquiry, joining the standing committee in August 2014. This inquiry was well underway, and I thank the secretary and members of the committee for their support in getting me up to speed in this important inquiry. I am extremely pleased to be part of a committee that, through its deliberations, has made a number of recommendations in relation to Indigenous justice matters, particularly those in regard to the Galambany Circle Sentencing Court, which Dr Bourke has just mentioned. I refer particularly to recommendation 19. Members can read more about the court on pages 372 and 373, and I recommend that they do so. I also draw members’ attention to all the recommendations in this area—18 to 22 and 52 to 55.

I am pleased the committee has agreed to a number of recommendations in relation to restorative justice and diversion, particularly recommendation 34—that the attorney proclaim phase 2 of the Crimes (Restorative Justice) Act 2004. I draw members’ attention to recommendations 34, 35 and 46 through to 51 on pages 337 to 371.

I believe this inquiry was extremely important, and I believe all the recommendations are extremely important in building on the very positive work that has already been done in this area. The chair and Dr Bourke have brought many of these recommendations to members’ attention today, and I encourage everybody to read this very comprehensive report. I am sure many people, when they read it, will agree that it is extremely positive and extremely comprehensive.

Along with other members, I thank all those who made submissions and appeared before us, and I particularly thank officials at the Magistrates and Supreme courts for hosting the standing committee for the morning, for giving us a tour of the precincts, including the holding cells, and for the very valuable briefing they gave us. They generously gave us much of their time, and I thank each one of the people involved on that day. I again thank everyone involved in preparing this report, and I commend the report to members.

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

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