GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (15:20:27): My question is to the minister representing the Minister for Youth Justice, the Honourable Jaclyn Symes. Currently in Victoria we face a very real and significant problem of instances in which some youths are choosing to engage in antisocial and criminal behaviour rather than attending our schools. From my experience in working with the Victorian police I can personally attest to the seriousness of this growing problem in our communities. Statistics show that teenagers who end up in jail are far more likely to commit serious offences and to be incarcerated as adults. Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party is committed to ensuring that justice is a priority in our communities and to making Australia a safer place. It is an aim of the party to make sure that young people are attending school and are not partaking in antisocial and illegal behaviour that will lead to continued offending throughout adulthood, as is currently happening in Victorian communities. The party is committed to keeping Australian teens in school and out of prison. My question to the minister is: what steps is the Andrews government taking to ensure that instances of youth crime in Victoria are decreasing in frequency rather than increasing?
I appreciate your answer, and I think you touched on a bit of the supplementary question, which is: is the minister able to provide any insight into how the government is making sure that Victorian kids are attending our schools and not engaging in antisocial behaviour in our communities?