The Baillieu Government’s rush to hastily imprison vulnerable youths fails to consider the cost of getting “tough” on crime and the real needs of the community.
The Age reported this week the building and maintenance of a new prison in Victoria will cost taxpayers more than $1.1 billion over 25 years, and according to a government insider, “isn’t value for money”.
And there were further reports today that there is a strong push from the Justice Department to build a new men’s prison which would become Victoria’s largest. But the debate shouldn’t just be about the nitty-gritty of construction contracts.
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Speed cameras alone cannot account for dangerous conditions and drivers on our roads.
Victorian Police Minister Peter Ryan’s announcement of an inquiry into the accuracy and effectiveness of the state’s speed cameras comes in the wake of a culture of public skepticism about speed cameras in Victoria, and recent furore in NSW.
Victoria pays some of the highest speeding fines in the country. The Brumby government budgeted them to raise $476 million this financial year alone, so it is little wonder they have been pigeonholed by many as ‘revenue raisers’.
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Getting ready for my appearance before the High Court in Canberra this week I did some eccentric research. I watched The Castle for the first time.
And whether your name is Daryl or Derryn it is pretty daunting walking up those steps to the towering glass façade of the High Court building in Canberra. With life imitating art, some of the media gang and camera crews who played extras in The Castle were there again in real life for my High Court battle.
That’s where the similarity ended. The battler fighting to retain his home on the grounds that a man’s home is his castle had a suburban solicitor and a QC played by Bud Tingwell against a couple of high-powered lawyers.
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There’s a light at the end on John Brumby’s tunnel. And it ain’t no oncoming train because Melbourne’s train system is off the rails.
That’s one of the reasons the electors of Altona – one of the State’s safest ALP seats – gave the Brumby government as massive thumbs down in last Saturday’s by election by handing Ted Baillieu’s Liberals a whopping 12.3% swing.
While the ALP stalwarts were licking their wounds Brumby caused a huge groan to emerge by referring to the swing as “fantastic” – a mate of “The Punch” asked “what IS that guy on?” It has to be remembered that all Big Ted Baillieu needs to form a government is an overall swing of 6.5%.
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