My matter is for the Minister for Youth Justice.
It relates to the Government’s Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2020-30. More specifically, it relates to some wording on page 28 of that Plan under the heading of Key Actions 2020 to 2024.
This wording says, and I quote:
“Youth Justice will deliver a High Risk Panel to oversee and support the most complex and high-risk young people in custody and the community. The High Risk Panel is chaired by the Commissioner for Youth Justice and includes senior operational and clinical representatives, ensuring robust planning for this group of young people.”
Given the heading in that section, I’m obviously mindful that none of this activity might have occurred yet – nor that it will happen prior to even the end of 2024, potentially.
Equally, though, some of that wording from which I just quoted is written in present tense. It therefore at least conveys an impression that the panel might already have been formed, or that some or all of its members might already have been chosen.
And that’s really why I’m raising this matter this evening.
From looking at the Plan, and the comments about it on the public record by the Government, it’s difficult to discern what steps (if any) may have been taken so far in relation to the panel.
I say that not only in respect of the formal appointment of any members of the panel, but also the scheduling or convening of any meetings and/or any work it might have potentially undertaken. As well as how wide its ambit might be for youth justice matters not just in metropolitan areas but in rural and regional areas, too.
The Department of Justice’s most recent Annual Report, published late last year, also doesn’t seem to shed light on any further detail or activity on these fronts, either.
The action I therefore seek from the Minister is an update on progress on the delivery of the key action identified on page 28 of the Youth Justice Strategic Plan relating to the High Risk Panel.
As a central component of that update, I would obviously be grateful for an outline of the nature and results of any work it might have undertaken so far if it is the case that the panel has already been established and is already in operation.
Alternatively, if it is yet to be established, then I would appreciate advice from the Minister of the likely date by which its work will commence.