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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 665


Senator McGRATH (QueenslandAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (15:49): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator McGRATH: The government is committed to reducing Indigenous offending and incarceration by tackling the underlying disadvantage that increases the likelihood of a person coming into contact with the criminal justice system. The key to this is increasing educational training and employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians while reducing the misuse of alcohol and other drugs.

The government do not support this motion, as we do not support a Commonwealth justice target that will do nothing to address the issue. States and territories are responsible for their criminal justice systems. That is why we are working with state and territory governments to introduce justice targets—because they have the levers to effect change.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question is that motion No. 208 as moved by Senator Siewert in relation to the incarceration of Indigenous people be agreed to.