I rise on behalf of the opposition to support this bill which was introduced by minister Piccolo on 15 October in the other place. It seeks to facilitate the transfer of community based sentences, such as suspended sentences and supervised bonds but not parole, between states. National model legislation currently operates in relation to prison transfer and parole transfers, and this legislation extends the principle to community based sentences. The legislation has been endorsed by ministerial councils (Corrections in 2010 and Attorneys-General in 2011) and I believe has been passed in all other jurisdictions except South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory at this stage.
Some of the discussion around this bill and some of the reasons that were identified during the second reading included proximity to improve family and community support, to escape domestic violence, or the prospect of increased choice of employment or study opportunities. Allowing a transfer to a new area in which the offender has good support increases the probability of the offender fulfilling the order, being positively re-integrated back into the community, and desisting from further offending.
An offender wishing to transfer interstate must apply, through their home jurisdiction, to have their sentence served in a new state. Relevant records and assessments are submitted through various departments, and if accepted then the sentence is registered in the new state and supervised as if the sentence had been imposed in the new state. States have the discretion to refuse a transfer. The offender retains rights relating to appeal or requests for amendment of sentence in their original jurisdiction.
Some community based sentences may not have a substantially similar sentence type in the other states. In those cases the transfer remains unavailable. It must be an order that 'substantially corresponds' to the order available in the new state. The legislation has been enacted in most other states and seems sensible albeit a bit late. I would like to thank, for my part, the member for Morialta for his handling of this particular bit of legislation and the thorough and comprehensive briefings he has organised for the Liberal Party's party room. It is with pleasure that I support the bill.