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Commonwealth must take more responsibility if we are going to address youth detention

The Commonwealth must take more responsibility for justice issues in Australia if we are going to genuinely fix our youth justice system and incarceration rates of our First Peoples, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The Commonwealth is very quick to push justice issues and funding back to the States and Territories but the fact is the Commonwealth needs to take some responsibility if we are going to fix youth detention and Aboriginal incarceration rates.

“We have come out the other side of the Royal Commission into youth justice so it is time for the Commonwealth to now take some responsibility.

“It is disappointing that the Commonwealth has not announced whether it will match the Northern Territory’s $50 million commitment to shut down Don Dale and build new infrastructure. What is the point in spending a similar amount on the Royal Commission, then not to spend the money when it truly matters? The Commonwealth should stump up the money.

“We also need to see the Commonwealth finally agreeing to a national Justice Target as part of the refresh process. We already have other Commonwealth targets for Closing the Gap, Minister Scullion should stop refusing because of claims that it sits with States and Territories, it’s a cop out and it is what Aboriginal leaders want”.

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