04 August 2020
As the pandemic hampered protests for Indigenous justice, I gave a statement in Parliament calling for urgent reform to close the justice gap. Despite reductions in crime, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are being incarcerated at higher rates and subject to greater policing. This is not achieving safety outcomes but impacts on health, mental health, education, income, job prospects and family of those affected, adding to a cycle of disadvantage. The Australian Law Reform Commission identified a number of solutions that should be adopted immediately including community based sentencing, narrowing offensive language offences, and encouraging Indigenous prisoners to apply for bail.
There are new ‘closing the gap’ targets for 2031 committed to by the federal minister, established in partnership with Indigenous organisations. Involving First Nations people in decisions that affect them will be at the forefront of removing disadvantage and I again called for a treaty (or Makarrata) and a First Nations voice in Parliament. My statement: HERE