ABORIGINAL YOUTH DETENTION
The Hon. ELISABETH KIRKBY: My question without notice is directed to the Attorney General, representing the Minister for Police. Is the Minister aware of a recent juvenile justice report which showed that in excess of 33 per cent of juvenile justice inmates in New South Wales are of Aboriginal descent? What effect will the Government's proposed street safety bill have on the number of Aboriginal young people in detention in New South Wales? What action does the Government intend to take to address this disproportionate level of Aboriginal young people in detention in New South Wales?
The Hon. B. P V. Pezzutti: The question should be directed to the Minister for Community Services.
The Hon. J. W. SHAW: It might be argued that the question is more within the substantive portfolio of my colleague the Minister for Community Services, Minister for Aged Services, and Minister for Disability Services, but as the question was addressed to me I am happy to deal with it. Obviously the honourable member has pinpointed a question of profound social importance, that is, the disparate impact of the criminal law on Aboriginal people, juveniles and adult offenders. That is a profound, social problem to which all people of goodwill should be turning their minds. There is no simple or readily available answer to the problem. The honourable member mentioned a proposal about street safety and the like. No such bill has been approved by the Government and no such bill has been presented to this House. Hence, in so far as the honourable member is referring to such a proposal, it is wholly hypothetical.