MARSHALL WELCOMES $13.4 MILLION JUVENILE CRIME RESPONSE FOR MOREE

MARSHALL WELCOMES $13.4 MILLION JUVENILE CRIME RESPONSE FOR MOREE

Photo caption: Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, and Premier Chris Minns during his recent visit to Moree.

Tuesday, 12 March 2024

MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has applauded an announcement by Premier Chris Minns this morning to tackle the growing tide of juvenile crime across regional NSW, choosing Moree as the trial site for a pilot program.

Mr Marshall said the $13.4 million announced for Moree came as a direct result of a visit to the region by the Premier late last month, amid rising pressure from community leaders and residents wanting urgent action to tackle the growing trend of violent, anti-social behaviour.

“On behalf of the community, I thank the Premier for listening to us and acting so quickly to help us,” Mr Marshall said.

“This is great news for Moree – we have secured half of the money in the government’s statewide package announced today – but now have some hope of turning this awful youth crime trend around.

“Mayor Mark Johnson and I have been in regular talks with the Premier, Ministers and department officials about this issue and I’m so pleased we now have some tangible and bespoke solutions, based on what our community said and needs.”

Mr Marshall said he welcomed legislation to toughen bail laws for young offenders, making it harder for repeat offenders to continue to be bailed by the local court., which was a huge frustration for local police, victims of crime and the general community.

“The real game changer for us will be the new $8.75 million bail accommodation and support facility to be built in Moree for young offenders,” Mr Marshall said.

“This will give the courts and police more options in dealing with young offenders but also ensure that when a young person is bailed by either Policer or court, they are not released back into the community to continue offending.

“Not only will they kept out of the community, in this facility, young people will be held until their court appearance and receive wrap around support from government agencies, community leaders and elders.

“This is exactly what we’ve been asking for – an innovative approach which we will trial here, with a view to establishing similar facilities in other parts of regional NSW.

Mr Marshall said under the new measures, additional judicial resources for the Local and Children’s Court will be provided to Moree including the appointment of a second experienced Magistrate and further funding for the Aboriginal Legal Service.

“Further, a six-month Action Plan to optimise service delivery to ensure that services provide maximum benefit, including, better co-ordinating the more than 70 government funded organisations in Moree,” he said.

“This is something everyone in Moree put to the Premier when he visited – we need better co-ordination and accountability for the more than $50 million spent in Moree ach year by government in early intervention programs.

“More out-of-hours activities will also be trialled, for example, allowing Moree’s PCYC, the Moree LGA pools and the Moree Sports Health Arts and Education Academy (SHAE) to be opened extended hours, so that kids have a place to go to after hours.

“While the police have been doing a terrific job, operations in Moree will be better targeted to meet needs, including, the Youth Command will continue Operation Youth Safe.”

Mr Marshall said the announcement would be a pilot program and if successful will inform a state-wide response to the growing tide of juvenile crime across regional NSW.

“This is terrific news but of course we now need to see the rubber hit the road as soon as possible and demonstrate that the suite of new policies and programs works,” he said.

“I thank the Premier again for his recent visit to Moree, for listening so closely to the community’s concerns and acting.

“I’ll continue working with him, along side Mayor Mark Johnson and the community to make these new measures a success. We simply cannot afford to fail now.”

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