Gannawarra Youth Fight for Stricter Parole Conditions

Claudia Long
Law & Order Reporter
YMCA Youth Press Gallery

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A controversial proposal to implement stricter parole conditions in Victoria has passed Youth Parliament this morning.

Gannawarra Youth Council’s proposed bill passed the lower house with 36 affirmative votes to 15 negatives after an emotional debate between the council team and Melbourne Girls College.

The bill outlines a range of adjustments to parole conditions including changes to supervision, psychological treatment and the creation of a publicly accessible sex offender registry.

Survivors of sexual assault on both sides of the chamber spoke on the bill and their  personal experiences including Gannawarra’s Lenny Brown who told the house her main concern was for vulnerable children.

Ms Brown said by keeping offenders away from the community the bill would “reduce the temptation” for potential reoffenders.

“We are reducing the risk for society” she said “please government I beg you do not omit this clause”.

Gannawarra Shire Council team members
Gannawarra Shire Council team members

Melbourne Girls College representative Maika Tran hit back at the opposition with her opening remarks saying the bill if was “impractical, implausible and inappropriate”.

“This bill is a breach of human rights” she said “what is the point of rehabilitation if parolees are not able to reintegrate into society”.

Bill sponsor Mikaela Penrose said she was glad the Bill had been passed despite the government making an amendment to the times parolees were allowed into their designated zones.

“We were worried about the government not passing it” she said “we’d heard they completely disagreed with our bill”.

Ms Penrose’s fellow sponsor Khalia Winstone was similarly pleased with the result saying she was “ecstatic”.

“This is huge” she said “I think something definitely needs to be done in the legal system [to prevent further attacks”.

The bill will now be delivered to Minister for Youth Affairs and Minister for Families Jenny Mikakos before being delivered to Minister for Corrections Wade Noonan for his consideration.