Northern Territory royal commission into youth justice gets deadline extension

Hayley Sorensen, NT News

Commissioners Mick Gooda and Margaret White overseeing the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. Picture: Amos AikmanCommissioners Mick Gooda and Margaret White overseeing the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. Picture: Amos Aikman

THE Northern Territory’s royal commission into juvenile justice has been given an extra four months to deliver its final report.

The federal and NT governments have agreed to the extend the date to August 1 next year, to be covered by the existing budget.

“Given the importance of the royal commission’s work, both governments consider that it is reasonable and appropriate to grant the short extension. No further extensions will be granted,” they said in a joint statement on Friday.

The commission was supposed to report back by March 31.

The commission was scheduled to hear from about 16 witnesses including five current and former child detainees during the December public hearings, which finished up on Wednesday. But the hearing has been beset with problems and delays.

Only two children have provided testimony, only one of whom has had their story make it to the public record.

The commission is expected to cost $50 million, with the cost shared by the federal and Territory governments.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner last week said there could be major ramifications for the Territory if the commission does not report back by March 31, as its recommendations could not be included in next year’s budget.

He said every dollar spent on the royal commission was a dollar that was not being spent on youth justice reforms.

 

Source : NT News

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