Youth Justice in the NT – what achievements?

18 November 2018

The Youth Justice system in the Northern Territory is under siege from a government with very little credibility.

Deputy Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro said the latest round of government announcements and pronouncements around youth justice were further proof of their sheer audacity in handling the issue.

“The government has pushed ahead and lodged applications to rezone and subdivide the Pinelands site for its new youth justice centre and alcohol rehabilitation,” Mrs Finocchiaro said.

“They say it’s about ‘continued consultation’. What a joke – they are pushing ahead regardless of the very public opposition to it. They should have consulted before the announcement in August – not at this very late stage.”

Mrs Finocchiaro said the CLP would tackle youth crime through a number of measures including sentencing to practical programs, increased parental responsibility, moving youth justice to Corrections with support programs by Territory Families and building an appropriate facility in the vicinity of the Holtze prison.

The government’s so-called progress report of the Royal Commission recommendations also highlighted some gaps in their response. In their implementation plan the government has promised to, within one year, amongst other things “Improve Youth Detention Operations”.

“It is clear for anyone to see that the Labor Government has so far utterly failed to deliver on these promises. Don Dale was in flames only two weeks ago in the worst episode in years,” Mrs Finocchiaro said.

“What is more, questions remain about the site of the proposed Alice Springs youth justice centre - the Minister continues to dodge giving a commitment. Why has it taken over 2 years to get to this point?

“Where it comes to youth justice – this government is boundlessly arrogant and incompetent.”