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Parole report fallout. Priorities and pain for law and order.I think the Victorian Government should be held accountable to resource the parole system in the same way in which it's putting armed guards on railway stations.

Defending VCAT. The tribunal's top man talks to 7:30 Victoria.There always will be people who are disappointed with a particular decision.

And in Dom nationalable but standing in the unwinnable.You have to believe you can win otherwise you don't get out of bed in the

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Welcome to 7:30 Victoria, Guy Stayner. This week the Victorian Guy Stayner. Victorian Government released
the Guy Stayner. This week the Victorian the highly anticipated Callinan report, reviewing the highly report, reviewing the State's report, parole system. It produced 23 recommendations, which were warmly received by the Government, including making it much harder for criminals to get parole. But many people working inside the criminal justice system say effectively implementing the reforms will come with a significant cost and so far there's no sign of the money.

Sometimes even the simplest questions can be difficult to answer.Are you seriously denying the Government released that information?We didn't release the report, no.You released it?No.While questions about whether the Government selectively leased parts of the Callinan report to the 'Herald Sun' newspaper where were at first denied and then ignored, other questions about the justice system are unlikely to go away, like how can the Government have a tough on helped it into office without adequately funding the support services needed to underpin it:The task required is obvious. It needs a commitment of resources from the Victorian Government to make the parole system work and make sure that it can fulfil its role to protect the community.This week the Victorian Government unveiled the much anticipated Callinan report reviewing the parole system. It was em fat compli released by the Premier.This report draws a line in the sand. The culture of parole in Victoria must and will change. Today I make this firm Today I make this declaration - the safety of the community will be the highest priority for the Adult highest Parole Board.But the eagerness to make the Parole Board the whipping boy of public safety whipping boy outrage has prompted a spirited defence from a it is Supreme Court judge.Where does the information get compiled? Where are the risk assessments done? Where are the programs run? Where is the supervision done? Where is the monitoring? Where is the analysis compiled? It's not in the Adult Parole Board. It's in Corrections Victoria.Former chair of the Whelan
Parole Board, justice Simon Whelan has taken the extraordinary step of publicly defending the Parole Board. He says the decision not to cancel parole for Adrian Ernest Bayley long before he murdered ABC staffer Jill lamentable mistake but maintains other organisations within the criminal justice system share the responsibility.It's a the same they
mistake the police made when they didn't oppose bail. It's the same mistake the Magistrate made when he granted bail. It's the same mistake Corrections Victoria when they requested us not to take action until the appeal was heard. We are the ultimate decision makers and we should take ultimate responsibility which we do.There are genuine concerns the same mistakes could still be repeated.I don't want to be in a position where I'm talking to you in 12 months time where Adrian Bayley has been let go by one of our members because we haven't got the systems in place to actually identify someone is on parole.The major resoarses will be needed in the support provided to the Parole Board and to the number and quality and training of the correctional officers. That's going to need an investment of money and the Government seems to have indicated that it wants to rial Kate resources rather than invest new resources. Whatever's going to happen, they they're going to have to invest a great deal of money in prison beds if the people targeted by this report are not going to be released at their earliest eligibility date.If only the Victorian Government was enthusiasts it was in the prison system. parole system as it was in prison parole system as it was in the better accountability of the prison system. We might get parole system in Victoria in protecting the community.Peter Norden is a Professor of social studies at RMIT and a are #230r78er chaplain at Pentridge PrisonI think the Victorian Government should be held accountable to resource the parole system in the same way it's putting armed guards on railway stations when the only problems there are 14-year-olds doing graph eat yes. We've norm us resources at railway stations in Melbourne but can't get resources to deal with high risk offenders.The Victorian Government is fulfilling its election promise of putting protective service officers on every metropolitan Melbourne train station. The cost is $212 million. Despite most stations having a serious crime rate of virtually zero. Across public transport, there is an average of less than one homicide a year, almost all are in taxis. It's great that the Government has a really strong commitment to reducing crime but my hope would be that they would rags rag naturally look at it and say where can we have the maximum benefit for safety for our limited taxpayer resources and for me when you resources read a report like Ian Callinan's report, which highlights the massive under resourcing of the Parole Board, but not just the Parole Board, but also the programs, the prerelease programs and post release supervision, support, housing programs, this is where we should be investing our Monday I why. If you compare that to say the case for putting two PSOs on train stations where little or no crime occurs, they are the things that should be weighed up and we should be investing where it's going to have the maximum benefit for community safety.So far there has been no announcement about improving resources for the Parole Board which has an annual budget of $3 million a year..We will be Parole
examining the needs of the Parole Board. But Callinan said the Parole Board can improve its efficiency and the way it operates.Justice Whelan said the Government should put its money where its mouth is.The Minister and Premier said even now there will not be more money or they won't commit to more money. They will do it by administrative efficiencies. Anyone who thinks Mr Callinan's recommendations can be more
implemented without spending more money is taking an Minister
unrealistic view.And the Minister for corrections, Edward O'Donohue, didn't respond to our request for interview for that story.

Every day we at 7:30 Victoria receive many phone calls and emails and sometimes even handwritten letters raising issues and suggesting stories. organisation that's
This year there has been one organisation that's cropped up more than any other. Day after day, week after week. That's VCAT, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. It its website said VCAT aims to be an innovative and flexible organisation which is accessible and delivers a fair and efficient dispute resolution service. But throughout the year local Government has expressed concern to us about its planning role being undermined while individuals have voiced their disappointment, unease and even anger about how they have been treated at VCAT. Three weeks ago, we reported on how many councils are questioning the way VCAT works. Tonight we bring you an interview with the tribunal's President, responding to the issues raised in that story. I spoke with Justice Greg Garde. Justice Garde, thanks for being on the program. The acronym VCAT comes up in our office on an almost daily basis. We get e.s males, complaints about VCAT all the time. There are an enormous number of people unhappy with VCAT. Why?Well I don't think unhappy with VCAT. don't think there are unhappy with VCAT. Why?Well I don't think there are an enormous number of people unhappy with VCAT. We unhappy with cases a year. Two cases a year. Two million Victorians have dealings with VCAT in Victorians have VCAT in anyone year. When you VCAT are a decision maker, some VCAT in anyone year. When people are pleased, are people are pleased, some people
are unhappy. That's the nature of being a decision maker. VCAT has enormous support across Victoria.The McDonald's proposal in Tecoma is the highest profile VCAT case in recent times. The unanimous council decision was overturned council decision was by VCAT. Does that show there is a disconnect between the decisions of VCAT and the roles of the local Government councils?VCAT's required to act in accordance with law. In this case, we are looking at the Yarra ranges planning scheme. The Yarra ranges planning scheme is made by the council with the approval of the Government in a business zone, restaurant and a cafe is a section 1 use. That means it's permitted as of right in that zone. We are talking here about the Tecoma commercial centre and in the case of the Tecoma decision, VCAT considered an application for buildings and works, the use was already approved under the Yarra ranges planning scheme.To people outside of the legal fraternity, it the people in Tecoma say is right, that the majority of people don't want it there, that they are now having the McDonald's foised upon them.VCAT is required to act in accordance with law. Here the planning scheme designated this land as a business zone. That was a matter for the Shire Council. If people consider that such a zone should not exist, then it's a matter for the council and a matter for the Government. VCAT has no say in that.No matter how many thousands of objections you get?It only takes one good objection to win but we have to decide the case in accordance with law and in accordance with the planning scheme.I will lead with my chin here. What did you think of the story we broadcast three weeks ago?Well, what I thought was that there is a level of misunderstanding in the community about what VCAT really does. A couple of the people who spoke to your program misunderstood that VCAT does account in accordance with planning schemes, it has to environment act and it has to adhere to policy where it's required to do so by law. It did seem to me that a number in of people who spoke to you did not fundamentally understand the merits review system that VCAT offers Victorians.What can councils do to actually shore up their decisions before they are challenged in VCAT?Councils have responsibility for their own planning schemes. VCAT is required to act in accordance with those schemes and it does. So if councils have a concern about the planning laws that operate within the municipality, the first port of call is to look at their own planning schemes. If they amend them, that's binding and effective. VCAT is required to adhere to those planning schemes and does.Another issue that comes to us is the cost of going to VCAT. Is that something that is of concern to VCAT?80% of people at VCAT represent themselves. In 20% of people are represented. Our aim is always to keep costs down to the absolute minimum. But there will always be costs associated with any proceeding in the court or tribunal.Is C cat actually set up to accommodate people who actually set up people who are under mental actually set up to accommodate people who are under mental and people who are under financial stress?VCAT is deliberately informal. So it's not like being in the formal surroundings of a court. Members of VCAT do everything possible to accommodate all the people before them. It's very common to have people with disabilities, it's very common to have people with stress, it's very common to have people with illness, for example in our guardian ship jurisdiction where we look after them, so everything that can be done to assist people before the tribunal is done.In doing the story on VCAT three weeks ago, we had conversations with people that were involved in setting up of VCAT and they believed that the tribunal had grown to something beyond what was initially envisaged and they believe the powers of VCAT needed to be pulled back. What's your perspective on the future of VCAT?VCAT has a right - bright future. Growth areas, if you look at the decision-making system in Australia, Administrative Tribunals and alternative dispute resolution is very important. VCAT covers a wide range of jurisdictions. The powers of VCAT have not changed much since it was set up in 1998. So the powers remain the same but VCAT is increasingly popular in terms of the con material of new need to jurisdictions.Does need to change?Well, we are continually looking at new ways of doing business. We are looking at use of looking at use of alternative dispute resolution and can that be done better. We are always looking at new ways to reduce the cost. We are lacking at new ways the parties can file material efficiently before the tribunal. They are all important things to do.Can you take us through some of the ideas that are perhaps formative at the moment but potential for improving processes into the future?Alternative dispute resolution is really very important. We are looking at a new method of resolving having planning disputes so that there can be mediation between the parties, involving the council, involving objectors and involving developers, looking for an outcome by consensus. If that can be achieved, then that's a big leap forward. It's very successful in WA. We would like to see that introduced in Victoria. In other areas, we are looking at increased use of submissions, increased use of material that may be common in a number of cases. They are steps that will assist the process of dispute resolution.Does VCAT have any problems?VCAT has challenges. Principally we look towards our resourcing, we would very much like to see the greater opportunity of expediting decision-making. That's an area of VCAT that certainly we look for support.Justice Greg Garde, thanks for being on the programIt's a pleasure, thank you.If you go to our website, can you watch my entire interview with the President of VCAT, Justice Greg Garde: Now to the Federal election. The Opposition today unveiled a controversial new plan for regional action to stop people smuggling. It's pledged by back unseaworthy boats in Indonesia as well as offering villages bounties for information about small letters. Labor has dismissed the scheme, calling it crazy and a grab for media attention. Kevin Rudd today predicted he could still pull off a 1993 Paul Keating-style comeback. National affairs correspondent Heather you'll et reports. Good morning, how are you, mate?We've got a good deal. Just past the midway point in this campaign and the pressure's on to hone the sales pitches for the crucial final stretch.We enter the campaign as underdogs. We are still underdogs and we are fighting, fighting and fighting. They are things worth fighting for.Two weeks to go now and it's clearer and clearer that this election campaign pits the positive plans of the Coalition against more of the same from a divided and directionless Government.Buoyed by opinion polls continuing to run in its favour, the Opposition smells decisive victory. Kevin Rudd, during a media blitz on the hustings in Western Sydney, clings to the hope he can pull off the unexpected.I think people need to think about this and the terms of some political history. I'm old enough to remember what happened in a campaign 20 years ago in 1993 where the then Australian Labor PM, Mr Keating entered the race as the underdog.And went on to win, but there's no sign yet of a repeat for Labor this time. As the Opposition ramps up what it thinks is a winning formula.We are not going to be all talk and no action here. are all talk and no action here. We
are sending to the people smugglers - your are sending the clearest game is to the people smugglers - your game is up. Your game is up. We game is up. Your game is run this country and we run this country who comes run this country and we decide
who comes here and we exercise the alcohol that is necessary.In latest addition to the
Opposition's sovereign borders policy, a Opposition's policy, a $440 million plan for more regional action to stop people smuggling.The policy which Scott Morrison and I are proud to announce today essentially involves working much more closely with source and transit countries to people
interdikt the operations of the people smugglers.It's a new take on the old stop the boats theme that means sending more Australian police to Indonesia to work with local But way more contention - a move to set up a village watch and offer bounties for information, as well as buy back unseaworthy boats destined for people smuggling.We want to have a program that reaches out up to 100 villages across Indonesia, but also the opportunity where the intelligence leads you, to have the option to get that boat before the people smuggler does and stop that boat from leaving Indonesia. That saves lives t saves the taxpayers' money ultimately.It's much better and much more sensible to spend a few thousand dollars in Indonesia than to spend $12 million processing the people who ultimately arrive here. So it's a commonsense measure.A measure that was swiftly met with de rigs by Labor.Of all the mad ideas I've heard in immigration, I think boat buyback wins. The whole concept that you can deal with three quarters of a million boats most of which are being used for poor villagers to make a livelihood and Australian officials are going to wander in and buy the boats from them, it is simply crazy policy. No this.Mr Abbott's plan to have, it seems, a three-star General sitting at have, it seems, General sitting at the end of a jetty with a cheque book to buy back fishing boats jetty with a back fishing boats in Indonesia is about as irresponsible as his plan for a paid parental leave scheme which gives $57 - 75,000 to millionaires.Are you following the debate happening in SyriaAs Labor refines its campaign strategy, attacking parental
Tony Abbott's generous paid parental leave scheme is now a consistent focus. At almost every turn in Sydney's Western suburbs today, Kevin Rudd was at it again and again, even as he announced cutting GST red tape for small business.We're in the business of making it easier for small business to get out there and prosper, whereas Mr Abbott is imposing on small businesses and families the tax burden to pay for his unaffordable, unfair and irresponsible paid parental leave scheme.If you want to do the right thing by the families of Australia, by the workers of Australia, by the businesses of Australia, you need a fair dinkum paid parental leave policy and that's exactly what people will get from the Coalition.But Labor knows full well the policy sits uneasily in Coalition ranks and in the business community, worried about its cost. That's why Kevin Rudd will continue to hammer it from now until election day. This and the Coalition's failure to release its budget costings and potential cuts. Tony Abbott took a hit on that front today, with respected Merrill Lynch economists claiming a gap of almost $30 billion between the Coalition's tax cuts and new spending promises and savings unveiled so far.I have a high regard for Seoul west lake as an economist but when it comes to doing budget numbers, it's a different thing. We have gone through the Parliamentary Budget Office. Our numbers are absolutely right. Our policies have gone to the put are Parliamentary Budget Office.All of our policies will be fully costed and fully funded and the overall budget bottom line will be better under us than under the Labor Party.Which jocks go, which health services are cut, which schools are cut, et cetera.Thanks so much.This is this the sort of person you want running a 1.3, 1.5 krillon dollar economy. We have got to zip and meet the good folks. Voters still shouldn't expect to get all of the costings and cuts until the
last few to get all of the Opposition's
costings and

The experts reckon there are about half a dozen seats that could change hands could change hands in Victoria. That leaves 30-odd electorates where no change is the anticipated outcome. But sometimes it's in these so-called safe seats where you find some of the most passionate split coast on the campaign trail. They are not really in it to win it, but rather to fly their party's flag in hostile territory. Ashlynne McGee has met a few of these dedicated political foot soldiers. My name is Joshua Sinclair, Labor candidate for Flinders.Everyone in politics wants to be the underdog but Josh Sinclair really is. The 21-year-old Monash University student is contesting a safe Liberal seat on the Mornington Penninsula but he's no bench warmer. Have you always wanted to be a politician?I wanted to be a full forward for St Kilda for a little while. But as I left school and started uni, I became more interested in politics and the Labor cause and the Labor movement.Possibly a little more realistic, too?I wasn't that great of a footy player, so, yeah. Maybe a little more realistic.Although his chances still aren't good. His seat is held by the Liberals by a margin of more than 9%. If anything, commitment to campaigning.If I wasn't standing here, I would be knocking on someone's door now in a nearby seat volunteering for that can candidate. I wouldn't say there is much self interest. I volunteer a lot of my time away from uni and my social life as well.Do you aspire to be PM one day?If that opportunity came up, then I'm sure I would absolutely relish it. But I would like to keep both feet firmly on the ground I think right now.Every day I get up around five o'clock. I stand by the side of the road and wave at traffic to start the day to let home people know I'm out there. It's cost effective but cold.Jag a Jag's candidate Nick McGowan has been campaigning since March - last year. It's an extraordinary commitment that even his own party think is unwinnable. At the moment the margin is 11%.Being a candidate is an act of economic self harm. You better love it. I have a very understanding wife and of course my kipdz are going to inherit less than they were 12 months ago. That's all right. It's all about the passion and the fact that if you believe in something enough, you should do it.That's what he has done.Good morning, mate, how are you. The lifelong resident estimates he's knocked on 20,000 doors.I would be unashamedly parochial and passionate about the local area. That's the luxury that comes with being a backbench local member who has a lot of time on their hands and a lot of issues to talk about on behalf of the local people.You never want to be PM?No. No. I did want to be. As a kid, I one want to be
would be interviewed and say I want to be PM, I want to be a Minister. My God, no thank you. My same's TeV, I'm the Greens candidate.Stephanie Hodgkins-May is campaigning in the seat of BallaratIt's a muj commitment putting are your life on hold. It's the financial struggles as well that ensue.Earlier this year she quit her job as lawyer to focus on what many say is winning an unwinnable seat. Bat rat is held by Labor by 12%.I come from a well off family in terms of organic farmers, we have never gone hungry and are well educated. I didn't understand why on people even living in Ballarat don't have the same opportunities as I do. I thought there was a lack of equality. How are you going?Do you want to be PM one portfolio or PM, why not? big and yeah, go portfolio or PM, why big and yeah, go for it really.Right across Victoria, candidates are contesting safe electorates, battling the odds of the ballot in safe seats. But few have the passion, the energy oar the commitment to campaigning shown by this trio of the, who face little reward for their efforts.From my to
perspective, I'm so fortunate to be able to put my hand up and have a go at something like this. I recognise my chances this election are fairly Klim.Maybe people who aren't interested in politics and look from the south side would say why the hell are you doing that. When junior' involved in it heavily, it's not extraordinary an idea to donate your team.If you do something, believe you
you do it 110%. You have to believe you can win otherwise you don't get out of bed in the morning. It's a little insane but that's all right. If you have got a passion in life, then that makes you fortunate, I think.That's 7:30 Victoria for this week. If you want to make a suggestion for a story, you can go to our website. We will be back next Friday night after the news. See you

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