GOVERNMENT AND SA-BEST HIDE YOUTH TREATMENT ORDERS BILL FROM SCRUTINY BY PARLIAMENT

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 7, 2018

GOVERNMENT AND SA-BEST HIDE YOUTH TREATMENT ORDERS BILL FROM SCRUTINY BY PARLIAMENT

 

Yesterday in debate over the controversial and thoroughly discredited Controlled Substances (Youth Treatment Orders) Bill 2018, the Government and SA-Best voted together to stop the Bill being sent to a select committee and stopped the parliament from debating why a select committee is necessary.

The Bill has faced scathing criticism and opposition from the Law Society SA, the Commissioner for Children and Young People and the Child Development Council, the Guardian for Children and Young People, the Australian Medical Association (SA Branch), SACOSS, SA Network of Drug and Alcohol Services, and the Youth Affairs Council of SA. These stakeholder and community groups made it clear to members of Parliament that, at the very least, this Bill should face proper scrutiny through the select committee process. The upper house had the numbers (supported by the Greens, Labor, and John Darley), but the Liberals and SA-Best wouldn’t allow for the suspension of standing orders so that the motion could be put.

Greens MLC Tammy Franks, who moved the motion to send this Bill to a committee yesterday, stated that:

“It’s deeply disappointing that the Government is trying to force this Bill through, despite all of the warnings and concerns of the sector that will have to deal with its implementation and consequences.

“This Bill is in contravention of the human rights of children and young people. It locks people up and forces them through treatment, even though it has been proven again and again that this doesn’t work.

“We tried to give this Government another opportunity to look at the evidence, to listen to the community, and to listen to the experts, but together with SA-Best they shut it down. Then, when asked questions about this Bill, the Minister then variously threatened, argued conflicting points, and refused to directly answer question about the Bill and resorted instead to rhetoric attacking those who simply sought the scrutiny of a Bill before then withdrawing it for debate anyway.

“If the Government and SA-Best are so confident their controversial plan to lock kids up for drug addiction treatment will work, why did they use their votes yesterday to shut down debate on simply having a committee take a look at this over the summer?

Media Contact: Tammy Franks 0457 549 938

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