My question is to the Minister for Higher Education for the attention of the Minister for Corrections. In the view of my party, if an offender is sentenced, they should be accountable to that sentence. It underpins the integrity of our legal system that conditions of community correction orders (CCOs), such as curfews, exclusion orders and treatment and rehabilitation orders, are enforced properly, otherwise offenders without doubt see this as a loophole that they can exploit. I have been informed that during COVID community corrections services are not checking in on offenders who have specific conditions attached to their CCOs. If true, this is extremely worrying. Further, with this new strategy of no longer seeking eradication of COVID, we will inevitably see cases climb and risk increase. This worries our party, as it is difficult to strike the balance of offender accountability and safety for corrections officers. We had over 13 000 people on a CCO last year, so that is more offenders than in our whole prison system. It is a big issue. Minster, how is our justice system in current COVID lockdowns and with restrictions checking in on offenders who have conditions, especially those on CCOs?
Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (11:10): Thank you, Minister. The Andrews government recently announced that it will follow the WA model and the current South Australian trial of home quarantine. Both states are using technology that requires a person to submit a photo of their face and their geolocation proving they are where they are supposed to be and that they have not just left their phone with someone else. Whilst we do not have a position on home quarantine, my party would like to see this technology rolled out across community corrections to check in with offenders who have curfew conditions and exclusion orders. I should note here that every offender who goes to Drug Court has a curfew condition, and I have been told by those working in the Drug Court that rarely are curfews monitored but often they are breached. Not only would this be great for ensuring compliance but it would also be good for offenders who do comply to be acknowledged for their good behaviour— currently it is all speculative. My supplementary question therefore is: Minister, is the government exploring using technology for offenders to ensure they are complying with their CCOs, and if not, why not?