Page 3953 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 20 September 2017

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complements the Chief Minister’s inclusion awards, which celebrate the contribution of individuals, community organisations and businesses who are actively promoting the inclusion of people with disability. This year’s awards will be on 14 December, and nominations will open soon.

Applications for the new disability inclusion grants—as the disability access grants program has been renamed, at the request of the disability reference group—will also open very soon, possibly as soon as this afternoon. They will encourage greater community participation for people with disability and build ongoing opportunities for people with disability to connect with their communities. The design of this program has been informed by the disability reference group, and I thank them for their thoughtful consideration of how the program can best complement existing grants, including the participation grants in other portfolios, including sport and recreation. The ACT government is proud to provide grants to support events and programs that aim to promote awareness and greater understanding of disability issues.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (11.46): I am pleased to rise today in support of this motion and I thank Ms Cheyne for bringing it on. It provides us with a valuable opportunity to discuss some of the many complex issues that arise in the space of social inclusion and the issues of inequity and inequality that arise in our community. Ms Cheyne’s motion sets out a range of areas where the government is making a deliberate effort to improve the lives of people in our community who have struggled at times through a range of things, whether it has been social exclusion, disadvantage or the like.

Within my ministerial portfolios there are a number of issues that are brought up by Ms Cheyne’s motion. I am pleased to take the opportunity to speak about that and a few other issues that arise today. In my justice portfolio this is an area of particular opportunity. I know that the attorney has made some comments in this space already, but I really want to elaborate, particularly on the idea of justice reinvestment. It is a concept that has been around for a number of years, and people who have read about this will have seen it spoken of extensively in academic circles. One of my early frustrations with it was: how do we take that very sensible sounding idea and make it into something practical? I am pleased that we have sought to bite that bullet in the ACT government and actually tackle that very practical question of how we do it.

The notion of justice reinvestment is a very simple one. The idea is that you spend money up-front on a range of programs and social inclusion measures in order to either deter people from being involved in the criminal justice system or, for those who have been, break the cycle of involvement with the criminal justice system. The strength of this is not only for the individuals involved; it also promotes community safety through reducing crime and reducing the costs of the broader justice system. It is that classic idea of investing to get a better return down the line. We must take the opportunity to apply that principle and make it work here in the ACT.

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