Page 3954 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 20 September 2017
I am very pleased that the government has sought to do that through a dedicated commitment to furthering policy development in the justice reinvestment space and is starting to put money into those programs. A great example is the government investing in a trial with Winnunga Aboriginal health services to better support vulnerable families, and we will soon be making announcements about increased bail support programs. The Yarrabi Bamirr trial—or “walk tall” in Ngunnawal language—is a program I am very optimistic about, working in partnership with the Aboriginal health service at Winnunga Nimmityjah, taking their expertise and the government contribution to that and really trying to make a difference for families who run the risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system, and making early intervention. These are the sorts of things that can make a real difference.
Another example is the successful extended through-care program, which aims to help detainees find stable accommodation, employment and training opportunities post release, as well as providing access to health services and a range of other basics that, when people come out of custody, they are not necessarily well organised to access. It can mean very basic things. One of the components of extended through-care is getting people a bus pass, a MyWay ticket, so that they can attend their parole hearings or their various reporting requirements. If someone does not have the skills and the mechanisms to attend those appointments, they can suddenly find themselves very quickly breaching, which brings them back into conflict with the criminal justice system.
These are important initiatives. They are very practical. And while these efforts take time and money, we know they are worth it; we know that we have a stronger and healthier community when work to break down the sometimes structural disadvantages and barriers to social inclusion that exist. I could speak for much longer about the justice space. There is much to be done in that space, but the philosophy that the government is bringing to that space is one that I believe will reap dividends down the line, both individually and for the community as a whole.
The mental health portfolio is another space where I have particular responsibility. Poor mental health and wellbeing concerns can still be a very isolating experience. I think we are making process as a community in breaking down the stigma around mental health problems, but we have some distance to go. As a government, I think we are on the front foot in communicating that we are a city-state that cares, that we want to work with people and support them. Again, there are a range of improvements to be made, but the steps that have already been taken are providing an environment in which people should not feel isolated or excluded but instead feel that they can come forward.
I could talk about these things much more extensively, but I will turn to the amendment moved by Mr Parton. The Greens will not be supporting this amendment. Between doing some other things upstairs, I did catch parts of Mr Parton’s speech. I want to reflect on the comments that he made about white males over 35. I do not intend to comment specifically on the language that he chose to use, but I think this draws out the really interesting idea about wanting to work on the distinction between