Monday, 13 February 2017
That the Senate—
(a) notes that the adult incarceration rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples increased by 77.4 per cent from 2000 to 2015;
(b) acknowledges the growing incarceration rates of our First Peoples is shameful;
(c) notes the Redfern Statement, which was released in 2016 by over 55 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organisations and peak bodies, sets out a plan for addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' disadvantage;
(d) notes that the Redfern Statement calls for justice targets to help focus the effort to reduce Aboriginal incarceration; and
(e) calls on the Government to listen to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and adopt justice targets as a matter of urgency.
The government is committed to reducing Indigenous offending and incarceration by tackling the underlying disadvantage that increases the likelihood of a person coming into contact with the criminal justice system. The key to this is increasing educational training and employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians while reducing the misuse of alcohol and other drugs.
The government do not support this motion, as we do not support a Commonwealth justice target that will do nothing to address the issue. States and territories are responsible for their criminal justice systems. That is why we are working with state and territory governments to introduce justice targets—because they have the levers to effect change.