Keith Hamburger AM To Lead Juvenile Detention System Review

Keith Hamburger AM To Lead Juvenile Detention System Review

Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles

Statement: Youth Justice

Victor P Taffa

This morning I received briefings from the Commissioner for Corrections, the Northern Territory (NT) Police Commissioner and the Chief Executive of the Department of Children and Families.

I will take over the portfolio of Correctional Services later today.

I have been advised that NT Police has formed a Special Task Force under its Special References Unit, and the issues raised in the Four Corners program last night declared a Major Investigation. This enables the full resources of Police to be brought to the investigation. A Senior Investigation Officer will be appointed to oversee the investigation.

 

I spoke to the Prime Minister, Attorney General George Brandis and Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion this morning and we agreed we would jointly convene a Royal Commission into these events.

The Northern Territory does not have legislation that enables it to constitute a Royal Commission, so we welcome the involvement of the Federal Government in this respect.

Officials from the Department of Chief Minister are working with their counterparts at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on the terms of reference.

I have made it clear that I want the Royal Commission to look into the whole of the youth justice system, not just the issue of youth detention.

I think it’s important that we look at the child protection system, not just youth detention.

We need to consider this issue from the perspective of how children end up in the justice system, not just how we go about detaining those who receive a custodial sentence through the courts.

I also announce today that the Territory Government will proceed with the construction of a new youth detention facility.

I also intend that a new prison farm be set up at Mataranka Station to give the justice system an alternative option to custodial detention.

I am concerned about the level of faith the community now has in the Department of Corrections. A culture of cover up exists in this department.

To help restore faith in the operation of our custodial institutions, I intend to appoint an independent Inspector General for Corrections. The Government will ensure this appointment is filled by a suitably qualified interstate individual.

The Inspector General will monitor the operations of our corrections facilities and ensure policies and procedures are adequate and being complied with.

The Government is about to receive a root and branch review of juvenile corrections conducted by Keith Hamburger AM, the former Director General of Corrections in Queensland.

I will ensure that review is made public and its recommendations considered in a transparent manner.

I have also asked that an Inspector General from interstate to undertake an immediate health check of our juvenile justice system. I hope this can be completed in the next two weeks.

Northern Territory Statehood

The Northern Territory Election will be held on Saturday 27 August 2016 and is to be the last Northern Territory Election that will be held before the proclamation of Statehood on 1 July 2018 as Australia’s 7th duly constituted State within existing boundaries.

The new state is likely to be called the State of North Australia.

Upon the proclamation of Statehood the current Northern Territory Parliament and Legislative Assembly will be dissolved and Proclaimed as a State Parliament.

Statehood has benefited the lives of people in all other States.

Statehood will enable the new State to pass laws as it sees fits without having to bow and scrape to the Federal Government in Canberra.

Statehood will allow the new State to retain Mining Royalties from land that will in turn increase the wealth of the new State and enhance the lives of all people who lives in the State.

Statehood allows a State Parliament to pass laws enabling land owners to hold Torrens or Strata Title over the land that they own as is the case in the State of New South Wales.

On  1 January 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia was formed as a Federation of States. The New South Wales Legislative Assembly was dissolved on 11 June 1901 with an election held on 3 July 1901.

Proclamation of Statehood will be a very exciting and historic time for the new State.