Standing Committee on Legal and Social Issues (12.10.2016)

Written on the 13 October 2016

Reference

12 October 2016

COUNCIL 

Standing Committee on Legal and Social Issues 

GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)

 

I am pleased to be able to rise this morning and move:

That, pursuant to sessional order 6, this house requires the Legal and Social Issues Committee to inquire into and report on, no later than Thursday, 24 November 2016, issues at both Parkville and Malmsbury youth justice centres including, but not limited to:

(1)   matters relating to incidents including definitions, numbers and changes to the reporting of incidents;

(2)   the security and safety of staff, employees and young offenders at both facilities; and

(3)   any other issues the committee considers as relevant.

In doing so can I say that I have discussed this motion with a number of colleagues and members in the house because some serious issues have arisen in recent times, and I am talking especially about what has been happening in recent months in our youth justice facilities. Colleagues and members of the crossbench from other parties have said that they have concerns in relation to the reporting date in this motion and other areas in relation to what the stakeholders have perhaps said to them about that reporting date as well. I just put that on the record and say that those concerns have been noted, and I thank the members for their discussions with me.

 


But as I said at the outset, we have a very serious problem here in Victoria in relation to our youth justice centres. There is no denying that, particularly in view of the media reports that are coming out from all media outlets. It is not just one media outlet, such as the Herald Sun; it is the ABC, it is the Age and it is other reports that have occurred. In fact, it has gone overseas. I have had a report just in September that an outlet in the UK is reporting on this crisis. So can I say that it is not just one outlet. People are looking at what is happening here, and I especially think that obviously they are looking at it because of what has happened at a national level in terms of the royal commission into the Don Dale situation in the Northern Territory.

 


If you look at the youth justice facilities here in Victoria, the objectives of those facilities, according to the department's website, include:

  • where appropriate support diversion of young people charged with an offence from the criminal justice system
  • minimise the likelihood of reoffending and further progression into the criminal justice system through supervision that challenges offending behaviours and related attitudes and promotes pro-social behaviours
  • work with other services to strengthen community-based options for young people enabling an integrated approach to the provision of support that extends beyond the court order
  • engender public support and confidence in the youth justice service.

I do not think that is occurring. I would say that the community has got real concerns about law and order generally in this state at the current time. There are no surprises in that because of what we have seen in the latest crime statistics, which demonstrate an increase in crime across the state of 13.4 per cent.

Unfortunately many of those crimes are being committed by young offenders. When those young offenders are subject to the courts and then put into the youth justice facilities, of course everybody wants to give them the best chance in rehabilitation, support and education. Can I say it was the former minister Ms Wooldridge who actually put an education facility into the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre at Parkville and did a tremendous job in identifying the support that these young people need. Some of them do not have any or have very poor literacy or numeracy skills and have totally disengaged, and this educational facility is giving them the skills that they need to enable them, when they are out of the facility, to be productive in the community and ensure that they can lead productive lives. That is what everyone wants. Everyone in this chamber wants that for these young people. No-one is suggesting otherwise.

But when you have got some young offenders who are very violent and who have committed serious offences, there have to be consequences and disciplinary measures have to be put in place. Of course these youth justice facilities need to be able to manage those circumstances. Let us look again at the youth justice custodial setting. As we know, these young offenders can have very complex backgrounds, they can be very violent and they can have a multitude of reasons for that. However, it does not excuse causing anyone in the community or within the youth justice facility to fear for their safety. I do not think we need to be putting up with this time and time again.

 

 

I want to outline in my contribution why I have put forward this motion to the house and why I think it is important: because of what is actually being reported in the public domain and perhaps what is occurring in the facilities themselves. I will go to the first paragraph of my motion:

(1)   matters relating to incidents including definitions, numbers and changes to the reporting of incidents
If I can just look at those reporting requirements, starting with category 1 reporting requirements, about which I have asked numerous questions of the minister, yes, the minister has put on the record data relating to category 1. That is a result of a discussion actually that she and I had in the chamber about reporting and putting it on the website. I am very pleased that the government is doing that, because as I said it is giving confidence to the public about what is actually happening within the Department of Health and Human Services and, in the context of what we are discussing today, what is actually happening within the youth justice facilities.

Yes, we have got the Commission for Children and Young People and, yes, they are doing their job, but my goodness, have they got some work on their hands. There are a number of reviews being undertaken by the commissioner and I commend the work that they are doing but we are about to introduce more legislation in relation to child protection in this house. We are about to debate a bill in this house in the coming weeks, and again the workload that will be put on the commissioner for children and young people in relation to that particular piece of legislation will need to see additional resources. So, yes, the commissioner might be able to be reviewing all these category 1 reports that are going across the health minister's desk and her desk, but as I said we need to do what the actual department's website says about youth justice, and that is:
engender public support and confidence in the youth justice service.

With that in mind, if I can just go to the department's website, this is what it says about category 1 incidents:

Category 1 incidents are the most serious incidents and include incidents such as death of clients; allegations of physical or sexual assault; and serious client behaviour issues that impact on client or staff safety.

Well, according to the website, in relation to some of these definitions:
Following public hearings at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, a practice change occurred in mid-2015 that has resulted in all youth justice clients being asked about events prior to being admitted to custody. Following this there has been an increase in the number of assault incidents reported.

As we are constantly being told by the government and others, some of these offenders have got seriously complex backgrounds and have histories of abuse. So in the reporting of the assaults in these categories we do not know if they are assaults that have occurred prior to them entering the youth justice system or if the assaults have occurred in the youth justice system, nor do we know, really, who these assaults are against. Are they inmate against inmate, client against client or against the staff?

 

 

If I look at these numbers, in the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee this year the minister did provide figures relating to some of these category 1 incidents. Actually, before I go to that, can I just explain again about these categories. Obviously client death is self-explanatory. Assault includes alleged physical and sexual assaults, the majority being physical assaults. In a custodial setting assaults often occur when young people in a confined space become agitated and frustrated, and this can result in physical force such as hitting or throwing objects. Behaviour includes incidents involving aberrant or threatening behaviour, and other incident types are defined as other incidents that include matters such as drug or alcohol possession and injury.

Now, going back to those figures that have been publicly reported on, in July to September 2015, quarter 1, client deaths was zero, assaults was 15, behaviour was 1 and other incidents was 1. That is a total of 17. In October to December, quarter 2, client deaths was zero, assaults was 22, behaviour was zero and other incidents was 5. That is a total of 27. Now to quarter 3, taking into consideration that quarter 3 had the October riots that I will go to shortly. In quarter 3, which is obviously January to March, client deaths was zero, assaults was 23, behaviour was zero and other incidents was 5. That is a total of 28, and in that period there were the March riots. Quarter 4 was a similar figure to those that I have just given to you.

In relation to the concerns that I have, there is consistency in the numbers that I have just read out; they are around the early to mid-20s. My concerns are in terms of what is being publicly put on record not being consistent with what is actually being reported in a range of media outlets and what is being said to a number of people in relation to stakeholders that are involved in this. I will have a look at that now. We have had, as I said, riot after riot after riot in our youth justice system. Looking at the reports and I am holding a wad of reports that relate to all of these instances that have occurred we of course had the October riots that were in Parkville last year when six inmates climbed onto a roof. I am just going to remind members of actually what occurred, what I am referring to and why I have grave concerns about the figures that are being reported. This was reported in the Age on 31 October 2105:

A tense standoff sparked after six inmates climbed onto the roof of the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre was just the tip of the iceberg of ongoing tension

Here is another concern regarding that particular incident. The Herald Sun on 1 November 2015 reported that:


Staff at the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre say, they were short on numbers when six inmates armed with cricket bats and tennis rackets climbed onto the roof.
Four workers were assaulted one during an attempted stabbing

So you can see that these actually do fit the categories that I spoke about. Again at Parkville, on 7 March the Age reported:

The inmates climbed onto the roof, some armed with metal bars
The centre was put into lockdown, and police and security guards surrounded the building.
The teens were seen smashing skylights and damaging air-conditioning units on the roof of the facility.
Heavily armoured riot police entered the compound about 7.30 p.m. and were pelted with materials by the inmates.

Again, there is just report after report in relation to what actually occurred. This actual incident was the second incident that occurred, as reported by the Herald Sun on 8 March:

It was the second day of mayhem at the centre, which was locked down on Sunday after hammers, pitchforks and metal bars were stolen from a horticulture shed.
One inmate was injured when up to a dozen teen boys turned on him.

Those are just the two major ones that have been reported, and I know that some of these inmates have got some concerns. Yes, they might like to be seen to be displaying this sort of behaviour, but what we have got in here is a gang culture, and I know that the minister refuses to acknowledge that. She calls at a 'community affiliation', but it is well-known that gangs are operating in the youth justice facilities. In terms of what is occurring, this is not giving anyone, especially those more vulnerable, young people that are in there, the tools, support and necessary guidance to not take up more violent activity, be recruited into these gangs and then be seen on a downward spiral into not only becoming attendees of youth justice services but getting into the adult prison system. So we do not want that to be occurring. Clearly there are Apex gang members in the youth justice facilities, there are other gang members from other groups that are also in there and this is causing increased tensions.

 

 

Now, the riots; can I say, they are the ones that we know about, and we know that
Ms Mikakos There were never riots.
Ms CROZIER Well, I would say they are riots, Ms Mikakos, when kids are getting on the roofs, smashing up and causing hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars
Ms Mikakos Ms 'Supermax' Crozier.
Ms CROZIER Well, you might deny this, Ms Mikakos, but the community and equally those more vulnerable people in that facility, as well as the staff, deserve to be protected. They deserve to be kept safe. You are denying that this is even occurring. You are saying that gangs do not exist; you are saying that there are community affiliations. You do not even acknowledge that gangs exist.
Ms Mikakos You are just making things up, like you always do.
Ms CROZIER I am not making it up.
The ACTING PRESIDENT (Ms Dunn) Order!
Ms CROZIER Through you, Acting President, I am not making this up. This is reported and this is coming from people that are working
Ms Mikakos Can you stop? You went out and committed your party to a supermax, not knowing it is 23-hour isolation.
Ms CROZIER Oh, that is just ridiculous, Ms Mikakos. There are real concerns in the community about gangs recruiting from within these facilities and the riots that are occurring. We must be looking at protecting these young inmates where we can, giving them the support and the rehabilitation that they require not getting them into a downward spiral. You have just lost control of this youth justice facility. As I said, I am holding a wad of reports in relation to these riots and the activity that has occurred under your watch.
Ms Mikakos Newspaper clips are not reports.
Ms CROZIER They are newspaper reports, and they have occurred through you, Acting President. If I can just refer to another media report from ABC online
Ms Mikakos There is a royal commission; there are two inquiries.
Ms CROZIER There has been review after review by Minister Mikakos. If I can just go to that, Peter Muir conducted a review of the youth justice facilities last year.
Ms Mikakos So you don't want me doing reviews, but you want your own inquiry, contradicting your own position.
Ms CROZIER No. Because you will not release your reviews. So we want to know what is actually going on, because there are statistics that are on your departmental website
The ACTING PRESIDENT (Ms Dunn) Order!
Ms Mikakos interjected.
The ACTING PRESIDENT (Ms Dunn) Order! Minister! Ms Crozier, if you can direct your comments through the Chair, and Minister, if you can give the member the opportunity to speak to her motion.
Ms CROZIER So, as I was saying, there are a number of concerns that have been raised by people working within the facilities as well as others.

ABC online quoted Community and Public Sector Union Victoria spokesman Julian Kennedy, who said:
A number of staff with the three [inmates being threatened] had to barricade themselves into a unit coordinator's room, where they had to use a couch and desk against the door to deny the threatening clients access.

If this is not an out-of-control situation, I do not know what is. If you have got staff barricading themselves in and you have got 11 inmates taking over the facility's area, this shows no control by those that are supposed to be in charge, or maybe they do not have the capacity because they do not have the numbers to be able to do so. That is why the system is in chaos and that is why people, and especially these young people who are in it, are at risk.

 

 

I just want to again refer to some of the issues that we have been told about. The police are out there on numerous occasions
Mr Herbert interjected.
Ms CROZIER Well, Mr Herbert, this is a serious issue. The community thinks it is a serious issue. It is only the government that do not understand how serious it is, when you have got kids running amok, causing millions of dollars of damage, and the minister doing nothing about it except having review after a review.

As I said, WorkSafe Victoria
Ms Mikakos So you don't want us having reviews to improve the system; you want to have an inquiry after you committed to a supermax?
Ms CROZIER Minister, we do not know what is in your reviews, and if we have got serious offenders causing a series of violent crimes, then they need a facility where they can be properly looked after not recruiting others like they are doing now.
If I can return to what I was speaking about: the WorkSafe report that was undertaken in March of this year. WorkSafe went out and looked at Parkville on 24 March.

This report says:
Inspector . . . and the names appears . . . and I attended the workplace to make inquiries into an incident that was notified to WorkSafe on 9/3/2016 which, you might take note of, is immediately after the March riots and to discuss the current measures in place to control occupational violence risk (together with recommendations provided by an external consultant).

On 9/3/2016 an employee lost consciousness whilst in the process of subduing a client with other staff members.
Again, there was another health and safety issue that was raised.

The report continues:
We were provided with the Review of the Approach to the Prevention of Occupational Violence in Secure Services document dated September 2015 by Peter Muir, Consulting Pty Limited.
That is the same review that I asked to be made public, but, no, the minister will not allow that but gives it to WorkSafe. They are allowed to have a look at the report into what was undertaken but the public are not.

The report continues further on:
Workplace health and safety issue
A further meeting has been arranged for 10.30 on 12 April to discuss the findings of the review of the above incident and gather further information relating to the above report.

This WorkSafe report is actually quite enlightening because it does raise a lot of concerns. It states:
On 26/3/2016 a client received a leg injury during a restraint process. He was taken to hospital and later released. I viewed the CCTV recording of this incident
The inspector stated that a review of the restraint shall occur on this incident.

Again:
On 23/3/2016 an employee was injured when he intervened to separate a physical altercation between two detainees. Having discussed this incident and viewed the CCTV I determined the following .

The inspector then lists a whole range of things that were determined, one of which is:
- one of the clients within the unit observed a client in the foyer area through the aluminium door and began kicking the door
- the aluminium door was broken from its hinges from clients kicking it which compromised the physical separation
- the two groups of clients interacted and several began fighting

It was acknowledged that the aluminium door is not of sufficient strength to prevent it being kicked in and this compromises the safety system when relying on the door to separate aggressive parties.

The employer has failed to provide a system of work relating to client separation that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

Large areas of this WorkSafe report have been redacted. This is not a newspaper report that I am referring to, Minister. This is actually a WorkSafe report, so this is actually, as you would know, factual. I mean, you get these category 1s over your desk, so you know exactly what I am talking about with all of these incidents. You have gone silent now on it. These are really concerning issues.

Ms Mikakos Have you heard of the commission too, because we changed the legislation to make that happen. If you cared
Ms CROZIER This is an FOI, Minister.

If I can, through you, Acting President, go back to this very important WorkSafe report, the one that I am referring to.

These are notes from the staff, who have said:
- Daily 4 p.m. staff meeting. Confrontation with offenders escalated. I removed. Unit manager returned. Additional verbal confrontation occurred in rec room. Lost consciousness. Transport to a Melbourne hospital.
The notes also state:
- Incident Monday 7/3/16. Offenders climbed up onto the roof of building, including Eastern Hill unit. Unit manager attended incident all day/night. Late night Management unit to be created on site   da, da, da; it goes on.
In fact it is a little bit difficult to read, some of this, but nevertheless the notes state:
- Full capacity makes it difficult to separate clients. Door flimsy.
- . . .  one aggressor moved to Malmsbury . . . one released. Incident reported to police.

So we have got police attending. We have got movement between the facilities. We have got people climbing up there. We have got breaches of the infrastructure within the facility and we have got a range of issues in this WorkSafe report that is heavily redacted, so I do not know the full extent of what was actually going on; I am only just able to identify what I can. Importantly and this I think is where with these issues we know that they are out of control the notes state that the security emergency response team, or the SERT team, was:
in training which delayed response. If one more client involved we were stuffed.

This is the workers just writing these reports, these daily reports. We know that they are seriously under stress in relation to their capacity to be able to deal with this ongoing violent behaviour that is occurring and the ongoing issues that are in our youth justice facilities. That was just one report in March. I do not have access to, obviously, all the other issues, but in this financial year they are the number of incidents that have occurred that we know about. That is all we know about.
On 9 September staff  were barricading themselves in after a rampage through Parkville; gang members were outside setting off firecrackers and flares, apparently. Starting the next day there was another violent rampage over a couple of successive nights, and youths attacked other detainees. On Saturday, 17 September, there were three youths on the roof with handmade weapons in Malmsbury. Again, on Wednesday, 28 September, there were more riots on roofs and there was more serious damage to various parts of that facility.


As I said, there are more reports of this that are reported in the papers, and thank God they are, because the government is not coming clean with what is actually going on. So I cannot fully have confidence in what is reported on the department's website in relation to the assaults and the number of behaviour problems when there has been consistent activity as I have described over the past year. What we do know is that the category 1 assaults over the past year have risen by 263.6 per cent in youth justice centres and the number of un-sentenced 10 to 17-year-olds has risen from 3.79 per cent to 37.3 per cent.
What is really concerning for some of these offenders who are in there who are not getting the support that they need is that the percentage of youth justice clients participating in community reintegration activities has dropped to 58.7 per cent from 80 per cent under the coalition. So the staff do not have the capacity or do not have the skills or the ability to be doing a lot of the support that is required, and there are many, many other issues that I believe have not been fully disclosed by the government.


As I said, yes, it can have the Commission for Children and Young People doing a review, and yes, it can have Peter Muir doing review after review after review and I am sure there will be more reviews coming, and there probably already are but you, Minister, have not been able to provide the safety that these young people require to enable them to have at least rehabilitation or to separate the very violent young offenders from those other more vulnerable offenders that are in these facilities, and you have not provided the staff with support either. What I am being told is that even in the last month, in September, there were 41 incidents of serious assault against staff. These were in the current reporting period, and I will be very interested to see what is on the department's website. It is also being constantly reported that these young people are armed with makeshift weapons and other weapons that can cause serious damage.

 


I have heard - which is very concerning - about two incidents. Actually, one was reported in this WorkSafe report, involving a young person who was obviously injured and taken off after getting concussed and removed off to hospital. But only just last week or in the last couple of weeks one young person in Parkville was what was described to me as king hit, fell down a flight of stairs, fractured his skull and was unconscious and taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital. This was done by another young offender. That could have resulted in the most catastrophic circumstances. That young person could have died or could have ended up with a severe disability. I do not know the outcome for that young person, I have not actually been able to find out, but I do know that it occurred and that it is not the only serious assault that has been going on. So if the minister is telling me that behaviour and assaults like that are within the range of what we are talking about here knowing that a lot of these people as described by the government itself have got a history of abuse and so then that is recorded in the assaults argument then I have some concerns about how they are being reported, how the definitions of those assaults and behavioural issues are undertaken and how category 1 incident reporting is undertaken.

 


That is why I have actually moved this motion, because this issue is not diminishing; this issue is escalating. The government has lost control of this. I do not know if they are trying, but there is no capacity for the minister to get the situation under control because of the repeated serious incidents and riots that are occurring in our youth justice facilities.
I think the legal and social issues committee has the capacity to undertake this. They just recently undertook the extremely difficult reference on assisted dying, and they did a magnificent job on that. I would like to commend the chair, Edward O'Donohue, and all members of the committee for the very considered work they did. It was a very, very difficult reference, and they took a lot of submissions in relation to that inquiry. They reviewed the issues extensively and heard from a lot of stakeholders. It was very difficult work, a very difficult reference and an exceptional job undertaken by that committee. There is no issue about capacity of the committee to undertake such an inquiry as this. If we think about these young people, some of the most vulnerable young people in our community, we know they require the support of the youth justice staff, the department and the government to enable them to be able to get back into the mainstream community. That is what we should be achieving. Currently we have got a system that is seriously out of control, and what is going on is very concerning.
I do note that the department is undertaking a review of the client incident management system. They announced that last year, and it was meant to be done halfway through this year. Goodness knows where we are with that. When was that new system meant to commence? I do not know what is going on. I do not know whether we have got a half-baked reporting of the client incident management system. I do not know what is going on. That is my point here. We need to understand how this is being reported. We need to see if some of these incidents are now called, as I have described them in the past, serious incidents and whether incident reports are being replaced by critical case notes or whether they are not being reported in the same way that they had been before . . .

 


Ms Mikakos interjected.
Ms CROZIER I am just asking. I want to know what is going on now.
Ms Mikakos interjected.
Ms CROZIER Ms Mikakos, you can scream at
Ms Mikakos interjected.
Ms CROZIER As I said, Minister Wooldridge undertook some significant reform within the sector. As I said, she was the one that put in the education facility in Parkville. Yes, there were incidents under her time too, as you would expect. I mean, we are talking about vulnerable children.
Ms Mikakos interjected.
Ms CROZIER I said at the start if you were in here, Minister that this is a difficult area, but it is out of control under you. We have had serious incidents.
Ms Shing interjected.

 


Ms CROZIER Well, the description I just gave of the young man getting knocked out and thrown down the steps of Parkville and then ending up with a fractured skull how is that categorised? Is that an assault? Is that a behavioural problem? What is happening here? Because I do not know. With the consistent records that you are putting on your department's website 20 assaults, 5 behavioural problems, no behavioural problems I do not know. I actually want to get to the bottom of this because this WorkSafe report indicates, in just a few days, the behavioural issues, assaults and serious other incidents that would come under the category 1 definition. Yes, the former minister might have done some review and reform in 2011 and throughout our term, but my goodness, she did some work on this and she had the issue under control. You do not. That is the issue.

 


I will go back to what I said at the start. Youth justice in Victoria needs to undertake a number of things. Engendering public support and confidence in the youth justice service is not occurring, and the workers do not feel that is occurring. Even your union, the Community and Public Sector Union
Ms Mikakos You are the workers' friend now.
Ms CROZIER You know, Ms Mikakos, I have actually worked in the public sector. I worked in the public health sector for about 16 years, so I actually do know how this operates. I do not know if you have, but I have. I might sit on this side and you might claim to be the friend of workers, but we actually understand
Ms Mikakos You were very happy to be a scab during the nurse's dispute and spoke about it proudly, and now you're the workers' friend.
The ACTING PRESIDENT (Ms Dunn) Order!
Ms CROZIER In relation to that interjection, the minister can say that
Ms Mikakos interjected.
Ms CROZIER No credibility? I was looking after unconscious patients and I made a decision to look after unconscious patients rather than standing on the street, and I would do that every single time. I had a duty of care to those patients to not stand on the road with others at the time. You can call me a scab, Ms Mikakos, but I would do that every single time. That is the difference between you and me. I actually worked in the public health system for 14 years after that, and do you know what? You say it all. You are something else.
Nevertheless, I am not talking about me. Let us get back to what we are talking about. Yes, I will defend the workers when they are being absolutely taken for a ride by the government. You claim to be the friend of the worker, but you are not actually representing their concerns. So when those workers are talking about fearing for their lives, you have got a problem. They actually want to help these young people, yet they are not able to, because they have got staff that will not turn up to work because they are too frightened, that are on sick leave and other leave and that do not want to turn up because they fear for their safety.


Now she is walking out. She does not care. Ms Mikakos, there are a lot of people concerned about this.
Ms Mikakos interjected.
Ms CROZIER Yes, you can huff and puff, but there are a lot of people concerned about this. You should actually be listening to what those concerns are, come into this house and provide the information that we constantly ask for so that we can have confidence in the system and give those people that have the responsibility in very difficult circumstances of looking after some of these very difficult, challenging young offenders the ability to do so. Yet you are not, and they are leaving in droves.
How many people have left the youth justice sector in the last 12 months? I ask the minister to answer that in her response. I want to know how many casual workers there are. I want to know how many have left, how many are there, how many are on sick leave and how many are on WorkCover leave. All of those questions have been asked, and the minister keeps coming back and saying it will be in the annual reports on the department's website.

 


As I said, these are serious concerns in relation to what is occurring. If the minister does not know what is going on, she is either incompetent or covering up. These issues are serious. There are reports. She might just say that she is reading from newspaper articles; that is because they are getting the information from people
Mrs Peulich They are people's views.

Ms CROZIER Exactly. News outlets right across the state and internationally are looking at what is going on here. It is quite extraordinary when it reaches the UK press and they are writing about it.
Ms Mikakos We have got reviews underway, and then you have criticised them.
Ms CROZIER Your reviews are not working. Make them public. When the riots happened in the adult remand system, those reports were made public. The minister has stated in this place that she will not release them because of privacy issues, so we do not know what is going on. There was a review after October. There was a review after March. We do not know what is in those reviews. How many other reviews are going on? She is the minister for reviews. That is all she is.
Ms Mikakos So you want an inquiry.
Ms CROZIER I want the Legal and Social Issues Committee
Ms Mikakos interjected.

 


The ACTING PRESIDENT (Ms Dunn) Order! Ms Crozier does have a right to speak to her motion. The minister's side will have an opportunity to speak to the motion. I would ask that Ms Crozier be given the respect to complete her contribution, and I would ask Ms Crozier to draw her attention to the motion.
Ms CROZIER Thank you for that guidance, Acting President. As I said, this motion is dealing with a very serious issue. I do not think it should be taken lightly, and I do not understand why the minister will not support a parliamentary inquiry to look into this issue. Parliament needs to look into this issue. It can do so. It has undertaken inquiries in the past. I know colleagues have concerns in relation to the reporting times. Obviously the committee can work through those and look at the reporting times if they feel they are too short. I am very happy to be open about those considerations.


But if we are to understand what is going on, an inquiry must be undertaken, because we do not know what is in those reviews. We have got to rely on the minister. We do not know what is in those reviews because the minister will not release them publicly, and that is not helping the situation where in the last three months in this financial year we have had riot after riot and destruction and damage. I am still waiting for my FOIs on the cost. If the minister's department could give me that information I do not know how many thousands of people are in the department I would be very grateful, because then we will know what damage has been done by all this behaviour from these young people who have been involved in the situation.
I will conclude my contribution now. I go back to where I started. This is an important motion before the house. We need to understand what is actually happening with some of our most vulnerable Victorians. It is also in the interests of those who are directly involved in looking after those people and who are working in the facility. I do not see that having another review will get to the bottom of it, because we have had a series of reviews that have not done anything. We have got an escalation of problems. What is more, these young people are seeing that they are getting the result that they want. They are continuing with their behaviour. It is not helping them.

 


We need to look at the issues, and I believe that the Legal and Social Issues Committee has very committed members. They are very committed to the tasks they undertake, and I think they have the capacity to undertake this inquiry. This is an extremely important motion and needs to be passed.


Regarding the WorkSafe reports the bans being imposed and then lifted we do not what is going on there. Why is that occurring? Why is WorkSafe in there? Why is the ban now lifted? What is going on in the youth justice facilities? Why are these riots continuing? I think the Legal and Social Issues Committee would undertake a very good piece of work to, as the department says, engender public support and confidence in the youth justice service. That is what we need. We do not have that confidence at all because every couple of days the public are reading in the media and hearing on the airwaves that there another very serious incident has occurred. With those words I urge all members to support my motion.
Debate adjourned on motion of Ms SPRINGLE (South Eastern Metropolitan)


Debate adjourned until later this day.


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