Page 2728 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 August 2015

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For example, in a recent conference a young person damaged a vehicle being driven by a young student on her way home from the library. The incident caused much distress to the driver. The young person was referred to RJ with a number of related charges. The young person agreed to meet face to face with their victim, during which the victim was able to get the full story and see his sincere remorse and willingness to put things right. She was able to convey to him the full effect of the incident on her. The victim asked that the young person compensate her for the cost of repair to the vehicle and that he apply an equivalent amount of time that she had wasted on voluntary work that would also assist him to find full-time employment.

The young person exceeded the amount of voluntary work the victim had requested. The victim of the matter has been pleased to see the young person apply themselves and in a manner that will further their own development and also future non-offending behaviour. This is a good, simple but straightforward example of the effectiveness of RJ in dealing with disputes that would otherwise end up in court, often without any sincere remorse on the part of the offender and without any closure and emotional recompense for the victim.

Emergency services—levy

MR SMYTH: Treasurer, in this year’s budget the fire and emergency services levy will increase by $66 to $196 for Canberra households, and it is projected that this levy will increase by about $40 a year after that. Two years ago households paid $104.80 for the emergency services levy, and by 2018 households will pay over $300. Why will the fire and emergency services levy for Canberra households triple over six years?

MR BARR: The government is focused on providing the best, highest quality fire and emergency services to the people of Canberra, and that involves additional investment in increased capacity. That comes at a cost. As I have indicated publicly on a number of occasions, I have no doubt, Madam Speaker—

Opposition members interjecting


MR BARR: that if a member of your family, my family or the family of any member in this place needed the support and services of the fine men and women who work in our emergency services—whether that is in ambulance, fire or otherwise—I do not think anyone is going to begrudge paying a few extra dollars if that means saving lives. Only the Liberal Party would make this a financial issue, not a community safety issue. The Liberal Party does not care. Our focus is on ensuring high quality emergency services—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson!

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