Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Greens will support the Integrity Legislation Amendment Bill 2013. This bill amends the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2011 and the Victorian Inspectorate Act 2011 by providing for pension entitlements for the IBAC Commissioner and the Inspector of the Victorian Inspectorate respectively. These entitlements have the same post-retirement restrictions as those which apply to Supreme Court judges, and they will restrict the ability of those officers to be appointed to public office when in receipt of a pension. The terms, conditions and rates of the entitlements are the same as for a judge of the Supreme Court.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Corrections Further Amendment Bill 2013 has been introduced to deal with two deficiencies in the Corrections Act 1986 that were highlighted by a recent Supreme Court decision. Briefly, before 1993 tobacco and cigarettes were sold in prisons at wholesale prices. In 1993, in support of a smoke-free policy, a corrections executive increased the price to 90 per cent of the recommended retail price. In 2004 the policy was updated and an increase was made to bring the price of tobacco and cigarettes to the recommended retail price.
“Prison operators are the big winners in this budget at the expense of programs that would help to keep people out of prison, with better outcomes for the community and at less cost to taxpayers,” Greens Justice spokesperson Sue Pennicuik said today.
“There is another $131.5 million dollars in prison funding in this budget – almost $53 million for a high security unit at Barwon Prison and almost $79 million for 357 more prison beds across the system,” Ms Pennicuik said. “On top of $819 million budgeted last year, including $670 million for a new men’s prison in Ravenhall, this brings funding for prisons over this and last year’s budget to $950 million or not much change from a billion dollars on prisons alone.”
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Major Sporting Events Amendment Bill 2013 makes amendments to the Major Sporting Events Act 2009. In commencing my contribution I would like to say that I am a sports fan. I have said that before when the house has discussed major sporting events.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The bill before us is the Justice Legislation Amendment (Cancellation of Parole and Other Matters) Bill 2013. The bill deals with two entirely separate and important issues. It is difficult to think of issues which are more important than the management and administration of parole, particularly with regard to serious offenders, and what this bill refers to as 'other matters', which is the representation of children in the Children's Court.
Greens Justice spokesperson Sue Pennicuik said today that she is concerned that the government is seriously considering cash bonuses being paid to prison operators for each inmate who remains on the straight and narrow.
“This approach is far from being innovative and appropriate to reduce recividism,” said Ms. Pennicuik. “There is no evidence to justify considering payments being offered for each inmate who is not rearrested in two years after their release.”
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Corrections Amendment Bill 2012 has 50 clauses and makes quite a range of changes to the principal act, the Corrections Act 1986. In his second-reading speech the Minister for Corrections, Mr McIntosh, stated that the bill:
... will amend the Corrections Act 1986 to implement a range of reforms to the delivery of correctional services by strengthening the governance framework underpinning the prison and community corrections systems.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- I gave advance notice to the minister of the questions I have regarding clauses 1 and 4, to which I am not moving amendments. Clause 1 is the purposes of the bill. The Sentencing Advisory Council's Statutory Minimum Sentences for Gross Violence Offences -- Report of October 2011 says, at paragraph 8.95 at the very end of the report:
Given these varied and uncertain influences, and given the significant concerns expressed by stakeholders about the introduction of statutory minimum sentences, the council considers that future monitoring and evaluation are warranted on the operation of the statutory minimum sentences and their effect on sentencing practices for severe injury offences.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Courts Legislation Amendment (Reserve Judicial Officers) Bill 2012 will amend the Constitution Act 1975, the Supreme Court Act 1986, the County Court Act 1958 and the Magistrates' Court Act 1989 to replace the existing acting judicial officers scheme with a new reserve judicial officers scheme. The amendments abolish the office of acting judge and establish an office of reserve judge in the Magistrates Court, the Supreme Court and the County Court. It replaces the offices of acting judge and acting magistrate with the new offices of reserve judge and reserve magistrate.