17 September 2019
The Youth Justice and Related Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 is a step back for the Territory which is already in the grips of a crime crisis.
Deputy Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro said the Opposition had concerns for victims of crime, who seem to have been left out of the Gunner Labor Government’s minds when drafting this new legislation.
“Territorians for too long have suffered from record high rates of property crime, and now this incompetent Gunner Labor Government want to put the rights of offenders above them,” she said.
“Territorians already feel like there are no consequences for youth offenders, particularly repeat offenders, and if this Bill passes, breach of bail conditions will no longer be an offence so the Opposition is really questioning the so-called consequences this Government is implementing.
“We have completely lost faith in this Gunner Labor Government to get anything right, and we question if they even know how to govern.”
Mrs Finocchiaro said she was also concerned about courts being closed to the public and to the media.
“The Opposition strongly believe that a court should be open, and it should be up to the Judge to close the court, not the Gunner Labor Government,” she said.
“This Bill erodes consequences and does not provide any measures to address the offending that is causing so much harm in our community.
“We hear daily the stories about crime and break-ins, whether it be a business or in a person’s home, and this is just not good enough.
“Under this legislation, repeat offenders, and offenders who repeatedly breach bail conditions, will still enjoy a presumption in favour of bail.
“There should be clear and consistent consequences for doing the wrong thing, and making it easier for repeat offenders to get bail is not what Territorians expect, nor is it sending the right message to offenders.
“Territorians do not deserve to live in fear in their own home, and they shouldn’t have to sleep in their businesses, but the Gunner Labor Government is ignoring this high level of concern.”