27 January 2016 - Shadow Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Lynne Walker, today slammed the CLP’s announcement that they’ll bring back Daniel’s Law which experts say will do more harm to victims of abuse.
“Protecting our children, especially those who are victims of abuse should be the top priority of any Government, but this legislation won’t achieve that and has the potential to do more harm to victims and even expose them publically,” Ms Walker said.
“The CLP have once again ignored advice from experts. The Children’s Commissioner of the NT, NAAJA, Victims of Crime NT, the Public Information Commissioner and the Law Society of the NT have all unanimously urged both sides of politics against passing this law.
“The CLP are ignoring the warnings from the Information and Children's Commissioners that the website could inadvertently identify child victims.
“No other jurisdiction in the country supports this legislation and key experts continue to actively oppose it. The CLP Government are ignoring the advice and refuse to listen, proving they simply can’t be trusted.
“Today’s decision is a backflip of a personal commitment that the CLP’s John Elferink gave to Independent MLA, Gerry Wood, in exchange for his vote during last year’s no confidence motion against the CLP Government.”
Reporter: Daniel’s Law – has it been withheld for a period of time or totally withdrawn?
Wood: I got a phone call from John Elferink on Friday afternoon saying it will be withdrawn.
Gerry Wood, Mix 104.9, 30 November 2015
“This proves once again that the CLP Government say one thing then do another,” Ms Walker said.
“If Mr Elferink wants to act to protect children from abuse, he can immediately restore the child protection positions that were cut, which resulted in over 10,000 child protection notifications being made without further scrutiny and investigation.
“It’s pretty clear that Gerry Wood has been taken for a ride again yet again by a CLP government that will say and do anything to hold on to power.
“The CLP have continually broken the trust of Territorians and they can’t be trusted to listen.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
10 November 2015 - Shadow Attorney General and Shadow Justice Minister, Lynne Walker, said today that the Territory’s youth justice system continues to lurch from crisis to crisis.
“This is the third relocation of youth detainees in a year, which will yet again lead to another budget blowout for the Youth Justice system,” Ms Walker said.
“This latest crisis is not about difficult detainees, this is about a system that is not working – not for the youths detained, not for staff and not for the community.
“Just this year, the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre received over $200,000 in works to install a 4 meter high anti-climb mesh fence and an electronic fence on and over the new mesh fence.
“Despite this, three youth escaped last month climbing over the fence.
“Earlier this year, the Vita report made damning findings and recommendations about the Alice Springs facility, including that there were ‘non-existent, outdated and inadequate detention centre procedures and standard operating procedures at Don Dale, Holtze and Alice Springs YDC’s’…. ‘and that their procedures manual had not been updated since 2009’.
“CLP ideology is to lock people up first and ask questions later. The latest 2014/15 annual report shows this. In 2015 the Government has budgeted for the daily average of youth detainees to increase from an average of 41 to 100 youths detained at any one time.
“By contrast, John Elferink is failing in the areas we know to work in youth justice:
“Young people in the justice system hold the best prospects for rehabilitation, but this is not possible 1,500 kilometers from home and family and the social and health supports needed to successfully turn their lives around.
“It’s not good enough for the Minister for Corrections to cry legacy issues. This is the one portfolio that has not had a revolving door of Ministers as part of the CLP Government’s own chaos.
“Minister Elferink needs to be accountable for this latest decision in a string of bad decision making. Minister Elferink needs to explain what is really going on in youth justice.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794