Kimberley

Greens: Mandatory sentencing unfair, disproportionate

Thursday, 17 September

The WA Greens have criticised the state government and opposition for passing tough mandatory sentencing laws that breach the international convention on the rights of a child.

“It was extremely disappointing to see such universal support for a bill that is so fraught with opportunities for misuse and unintended consequences,” WA Greens MLC Robin Chapple said.

“The convention states that in a case involving a minor, detention must be a last resort - these laws remove the ability of a court to use discretion and hence clearly breach the convention.

“We should be allowing the judiciary to make decisions relating to children, not mandating from Parliament.”

WA Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said that mandatory sentencing had a disproportionate impact on marginalised West Australians with little evidence to suggest that it reduced crime in any context.

“Home burglaries are ultimately a crime of despair – it would be nice to see a government who was willing to actually invest in people and invest in rehabilitation,” Ms MacLaren said.

“I challenge the State Government, and Canning candidate Andrew Hastie, who has weighed into this debate to support mandatory sentencing extensions - to produce their evidence to show that mandatory sentencing will reduce the number of home burglaries.

“I also challenge the Government to commit to implementing the policies that are known to work to reduce crime. That is, long term, research-linked, community-based strategies, including health-based substance abuse programs.”

For comment please contact media liaison Tim Oliver on 08 9486 8255 or 0431 9696 25

Shameful: Government outsources remote community jobs at Mowanjum

Friday, 11 September

WA Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Affairs Robin Chapple MLC said he was disgusted to learn this morning that community maintenance work at Mowanjum, undertaken by local men, had been outsourced to a Victorian contractor.

“I have never been more ashamed than of the Barnett government’s relentless attacks on Aboriginal people, agency and culture in Western Australia,” Mr Chapple said.

“All the Government rhetoric about reform for remote Aboriginal communities to address social issues means absolutely nothing; they simply do not care.

“It has been proven time and again that local, meaningful, employment is one of the most effective methods of dealing with mental health issues in remote communities.

“There is a fundamental flaw in the system here and that is where reform should be targeted; these at-risk young men were undertaking meaningful work within their own community and are now unemployed.”

For further comment please contact media liaison Tim Oliver on (08) 9486 8255 or 0431 9696 25

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