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Statutes Amendment (Recidivist and Repeat Offenders) Bill

Second Reading

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (17:52): Advance SA is supportive of this bill as we understand there is an urgency for it to pass to address a particular urgent situation that the Department for Correctional Services has notified the government about. From time to time parliament is asked to put aside normal procedure and conventions and consider bills as a matter of urgency, as is the case with this bill. However, I want to put on the record that this is not good practice and does not allow for full consideration or consultation on matters. We in this place cannot be experts on everything that comes before us, and we need time to consider the implications of what the government is proposing.

Today I received an email from Ms Penny Wright, the Guardian for Children and Young People, that essentially echoed this. She said that neither she nor the regular stakeholders were consulted about this bill. Notwithstanding this she raised a number of issues, and one particular issue that I thought needed attention was with regard to the expiration of extended supervision orders. Essentially, Ms Wright said that one of the framing principles of an order should be that it is a measure of last resort and should be for a specified and limited amount of time. I believe the government has addressed this first measure; however, the bill does not seem to address the issue of the expiration of extended supervision orders or whether rolling orders can be issued against an individual continuously. I would be grateful for clarification on this from the government.

I understand the matter that this bill seeks to address concerns a juvenile and, as such, only a few details as to why this urgency is needed can be divulged. In short, the government is asking us to trust it with the information it has without providing that to us. In my time here I can recall this situation of being asked to simply trust the government occurring on several occasions. Each time I have been very uncomfortable about giving my blind support to the government, but I have done so because I have been told that it is in the interests of community safety. I want it noted that while I agree on this occasion, this may not always be the case going forward.