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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 31

(Question No. 1539)

Senator Jones asked the Minister representing the Minister for Territories, upon notice, on 19 November 1986:

(1) How many defaulters on community service orders have there been in: (a) the ACT; and (b) the Northern Territory in the years: (i) 1984-85, and (ii) 1985-86.

(2) Are any figures available to the Minister to show comparisons with the various States to cover the same period of time.

(3) What measures are available to Territory and State authorities to ensure unpaid community service work imposed by the courts is in fact carried out.

(4) What measures have been taken against defaulters who have been eventually detected.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Territories has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) (a) ACT. (i) 1984-85: Nil. The Community Service Order Scheme commenced in August 1985. (ii) 1985-86: One.

(1) (b) The Northern Territory Government is responsible for the Community Service Order Scheme in the Northern Territory.

(2) Given the recent introduction of the Community Service Order Scheme in the ACT no comparisons can be made with State data.

(3) The ACT Supervision of Offenders (Community Service Order) (Amendment) Ordinance 1985 provides for the supervision of adult offenders who are ordered by the Court to perform unpaid community work. Offenders who fail to comply with the terms of orders are guilty of an offence under Section 556K of the Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance No. 11 of 1985.

A specialist unit in the Adult Corrections Section of Welfare Services Branch monitors the performance of and hours worked by offenders placed with voluntary agencies and those under direct supervision.

(4) The Community Service Order scheme provides the following measures to deal with defaulters:

Minor offenders are initially warned orally and then formally by letter.

Persistent offenders have breach action taken against them and information is laid before the Court.

Custodial sentences have been imposed by the Courts on all offenders dealt with to date for non-compliance.