Labor shuts down Opposition crime censure motion

by | Feb 18, 2021 | News | 0 comments

The Opposition has accused the Gunner Government of “completely botching its handling of crime” and criticised the Chief Minister for attempting to stifle debate on escalating crime in the Territory.

CLP leader Lia Finocchiaro moved to censure the government over its “catastrophic failure” dealing with crime and said it doesn’t want to face the tough questions on crime because it has “absolutely no plan to address it.”

But in an unusual move, the Government shut down debate.

“This type of debate is reserved for the most serious and grievous failures of a government and is accepted by parliaments all over the world but was rejected by the Gunner Labor Government,” Ms Finocchairo said.

“This move is extraordinary. Labor has completely botched its handling of crime and now Ministers have gagged a serious debate on the issue.

“The Opposition will continue to speak for victims of crime who have been forgotten by the Gunner Labor Government.”

Ms Finocchiaro earlier stated in Parliament that offenders need actual consequences and has maintained that there needs to be escalating penalties for repeat offenders.

“The public anger is palpable, Territory businesses are outraged, frustrated, and dejected, and police have now ramped up calls for the Chief Minister to take action on youth crime,” Ms Finocchiaro said in a statement.

“The Chief Minister has promised to take tougher action on crime and to look at the bail laws and all of these things – and of course he’s not delivering because, you know, we’re on the other side of the election now and we’re seeing this backflip and this backpedal away from what’s actually needed.”

Ms Finocchiaro denied she was politicising the youth crime issue and said reforming youth bail laws will make an impact on reducing crime rates.

Mr Gunner remains opposed to amending the Youth Justice Act of 2005, which provides a presumption in favor of granting a youth bail amidst spate of juvenile crimes across the borders, despite calls from the NT Police Association to put some teeth on the law.

He has said he is focused on stopping crime and introducing new legislation this week in Parliament that creates stricter laws to punish ringleaders of crime.

Ms Finocchiaro said that was not enough.

“We will continue to call on the Gunner Government to tighten bail laws,” she said. “We will continue calls to clamp down on repeat offending, expand electronic monitoring and for tough, immediate consequences for people who breach bail.”

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