Strategic Policy Advisory Panel

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN ( 15:03 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Correctional Services.

Leave granted.

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN: On 11 August this year, a media release was issued by the minister titled ‘Targeting a reduction in reoffending’. The media release stated that a strategic policy advisory panel was being formed. The terms of reference for this advisory panel were that cabinet would endorse the panel’s policy document by 28 November 2016 and that there would be an action plan due November 2016. My question to the minister is: has the minister been advised of the recommendations of the panel and, if so, what are the key recommendations from the panel?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 15:04 ): I thank the honourable member for his important question around an important subject. The government outlined earlier this year that we are committed to adopting a target of reducing the rate of reoffending by 10 per cent by the year 2020. The current rate of reoffending in South Australia is 46 per cent and, although that number is better than the national average, undoubtedly it would be an outstanding result if we were able to reduce that number even further because it would bring with it a whole range of public policy benefits, not least of which is a safer community. Indeed, a substantial saving to the South Australian taxpayer is part of that.

In order to pursue that policy, I appointed a strategic policy panel which is made up of experts from a range of different fields within the criminal justice sector to provide me with advice on various ideas that could be adopted with a view to realising that target. That policy panel has in essence concluded its work. I am happy to report that I will be meeting with the panel tomorrow to receive their recommendations. I have been very much looking forward to this meeting for some time. The panel has been ably chaired by Mr Warren Mundine. He has been assisted by a number of other panel members. I will quickly run through them from memory.

There was the former police commissioner Mal Hyde; the victims’ rights commissioner, Michael O’Connell; Amanda Blair, who has long been a passionate advocate in the area of Corrections and also a member of the board of Housing SA; Professor Ian Edwards; Mr Lynn Arnold, a former premier of this state who, more importantly, has also served as a CEO within Anglicare; and Ms Nikki Govan, who is the Deputy Chair of Business SA.

I am very much looking forward to meeting with the panel tomorrow afternoon and receiving their recommendations. From there, of course I will be taking that report to cabinet. Post that, I look forward to releasing the information publicly in due course. I do acknowledge that the Hon.¬†Mr¬†McLachlan’s question mentioned the time line of late November. That is in essence on track. Today is the first day of December and I look forward to receiving the outcomes of that public policy panel’s recommendations at the earliest available opportunity.

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