Alice Springs independent MLA Robyn Lambley says Mick Gooda owes the Northern Territory solutions for dealing with an increase in youth crime, which she described as an unintended consequence of his recommendations from the royal commission into youth detention.
Mr Gooda was a co-commissioner of the 2016/17 Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory and appeared on A Current Affair on Tuesday, a night after the program aired an episode on crime in Alice Springs.
He told the program little had changed in youth offending since the commission’s findings were handed down, a statement Ms Lambley rejected.
Amongst the recommendations from the royal commission which were adopted by the Gunner Government were the presumption for bail for youth offenders and breach of bail offences being abolished.
Ms Lambley, speaking on Darwin’s Mix 104.9 radio today, said Mr Gooda was paid a “huge amount of money” to preside over the royal commission, and while he worked hard on his recommendations, there were unintended consequences.
“I was very disappointed that Mick Gooda…didn’t have any constructive comments to make, around what we do with the unintended consequences of the royal commission and that is the explosion of youth crime in places like Alice Springs over the last 18 months, two years,” she said.
“That was a missed opportunity. I think Mr Gooda really needs to think about the role that he played in the position that we’re in now.
“Now, I think he has a responsibility to, if he has further solutions, and possibly tweaks to recommendations. Take some responsibility for the further problems that he has created through the recommendations he drafted and help us to find a way forward.”
Mr Gooda told A Current Affair on Tuesday that youth offending could be dealt with by the Alice Springs community, both Indigenous non-Indigenous, coming together to say what was acceptable, supported by both levels of governments.
“I’m not arguing against not locking anyone up at all, but we’ve got to keep that for the ones that are the most dangerous out there,” he said.
“The governments pull all the levers on this. They have the control over the justice system. They have the control over police, they have the control over alcohol.
“If it was up to me I’d be pulling the community together and saying this is what our expectations are here in Alice Springs and work with the government to make it happen.”
Ms Lambley said based on the description of the tougher bail laws the CLP will be introducing into Parliament next week, she would support them but would need to look closely at the legislation .