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Legislative Council
Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Youth Offenders) Bill 2016

07 December 2016
Second reading


Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) — I move:

That the bill be now read a second time.

This bill amends the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 to implement legislative reforms to strengthen the youth justice system.

The opposition is taking action while the Andrews government dithers in the face of a youth justice crisis.

The bill will require the Youth Parole Board to make community safety the paramount consideration in parole-making decisions.

Daniel Andrews and the Labor government have lost control with skyrocketing crime rates. Riots within youth justice centres have been occurring on a regular basis under Daniel Andrews. The Melbourne youth justice facility in Parkville has been trashed by a hardened cohort of young offenders who have no regard for the law, who do not fear any consequence for their actions, nor do they have any regard for community safety.

Crime statistics agency data shows that there is a significant problem with youth recidivist offenders in Victoria and community safety is at risk.

There were 2380 offenders aged between 10 and 24 who committed 6–10 incidents for a total of 17 798 offender incidents in 2015–16, an average of 7 incidents per offender. The most extreme group of repeat offenders, 1695 young offenders aged 10–24, are those who committed 11 or more offender incidents during the year. These recidivist offenders were responsible for 32 592 incidents last year, a shocking average of 19 incidents per offender.

There are many consequences of this youth crime wave, including the victims who have to live with the psychological and physical trauma of these crimes.

Whilst the youth crime wave continues the Andrews Labor government has no plan to address this crisis.

The bill will enshrine community safety as the paramount consideration in Youth Parole Board decisions.

As well, the transparency of the Youth Parole Board will be increased with the requirement for it to report annually on the number of convictions for serious offences by offenders on parole.

I commend the bill to the house.

Debate adjourned on motion of Ms SYMES (Northern Victoria).

Debate adjourned until next day.