The Property Council of Australia, Northern Territory Division, has joined the growing list of businesses and stakeholders calling for immediate action to combat crime.
Ruth Palmer, Executive Director of the Property Council, stated that in response to the rise in youth crime, we produced a report for the government in May of last year, this report and recommendations were not considered, and crime and unacceptable behaviour continues to worsen.
“This clearly indicates that the Northern Territory Government has not listened to or understood community frustrations or NT Police statistics.”
“According to statistics, we are in the midst of a crime crisis.
“That is why we are calling on the NT Government to immediately re-consider the recommendations in our report that we produced last year in May titled: Background and Recommendations to the Government of the Northern Territory in response to the worsening youth crime and unacceptable behaviour issues in Alice Springs, NT.
“The effect that crime has on property and business is not only a cost factor, but it is also diminishing our chances for growth and retaining a stable population.
“Our report quotes the 2010 Report of the Board of Inquiry into the Northern Territory’s Child Protection System, which states that child protection systems must consider children’s broader well-being and developmental needs in the context of the families, communities, and schools in which they live, grow, and are educated.
“A key component of the board of enquiry addressed concerns raised by residents of 15 Aboriginal communities who identified parenting support as one of their top priorities.
“Parents told the enquiry that it was difficult for them to set and enforce boundaries, which led to criminal activity and disorder in Alice Springs.
“According to the board of enquiry, possible initiatives in remote communities could include childhood home-visiting initiatives, parenting skills training and parent-child attachment-based programs, community development and healing strategies, and programs to address parental risk factors such as bereavement, mental illness, or substance abuse.
“That is why our key recommendation of the report is to appoint an Independent Commissioner / Coordinator who would be responsible for analysing and reporting on all departments dealing with youth and justice. Education, families, children, housing, police, domestic violence services, and the law.
“In short, we proposed a complete review of the current resources and programs that are in place to identify what has been successful and what has not.
“Underused resources could have been allocated to services or programs that have been effective.
“Not only that, but we also have numerous recommendations from numerous reports that do not have any accountability metrics applied to them. “What has actually been implemented and actioned?
“The government needs to back the courage of their conviction; they say their government stands for accountability and integrity.
“So, if their promised results do not materialise, are the relevant ministers willing to be held accountable and stand down?
“Along with this, we have also called for a review of the 2019 changes to the Liquor Act, which removed Public Intoxication and unacceptable behaviour from the Act.
“We believe this is a criminal matter and that it should remain so.
“We know that this is a generational issue, and we know that there is plenty of work that needs to be done in this space; however, we hold grave concerns with the worsening effects we see Territory-wide.
“What has actually been implemented and actioned?
“We also called for a review of the changes to the Liquor Act in 2019 that saw Public Intoxication and unacceptable behaviour removed from the Act.
“We believe that this is a criminal matter and should remain as such.
“We know that this is a generational issue, and we know that there is plenty of work that needs to be done in this space. However, we hold grave concerns with the worsening effects we are seeing Territory wide.
*Report available here: Background and Recommendations to the Government of the Northern Territory in response to the worsening youth crime and unacceptable behaviour issues in Alice Springs, NT. May 2022.
Media contact: Ruth Palmer | M 0450 428 314 | E [email protected]