WOMEN OFFENDERS SUPPORT SERVICES

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (12:15): I acknowledge this very fine motion by the member for King:

(a) recognises the importance of partnerships with the non-government sector in supporting female offenders in the community;

(b) acknowledges the importance of connecting women to support services in the community; and

(c) recognises the important role volunteers and former offenders can play in reducing recidivism.

I think that supporting women and their access to community and support services if they happen to find themselves on the wrong side of the law is very important work. They certainly need support moving forward and that has been recognised across the house in various ways. I want to move an amendment to the member for Reynell's amendment. I want to amend paragraph (d) as follows:

(d) acknowledges the state government's role, support and funding of programs and organisations to increase their strength and self-worth as they transition from prison into the community.

Members interjecting:

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Everybody has had their opportunity to contribute to this debate. The member for Hammond now has his. He will be heard in silence.

Mr PEDERICK: Thank you for your protection, sir. I am only a little bloke. We accept the amendment inserting paragraph (e) as presented. Some people in this house—and it has just happened with the interjections—do not understand that there may be a different point of view. The last time I looked, this is not a socialist state.

Members interjecting:

Mr PEDERICK: I am still hearing crickets, I think.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Carry on regardless.

Mr PEDERICK: Thank you for protection again, Mr Deputy Speaker. Your great support is highly valued. I would like to acknowledge the work that this government is doing in supporting women right across the board. Obviously, that work comes from the minister in the other place, the Hon. Michelle Lensink. We have the assistant minister here, Carolyn Power, and the member for King, Paula Luethen, provides great advocacy in regard to all matters regarding women.

Women are a very vital part of our community. We have put programs in place to support women offenders and we will go on doing that. It is alright to hear criticism from the other side but, for all the bleating, they had 16 years to do this. We will continue to strengthen the links between women and the support services they need throughout the community, whether they be government or non-government support services, so they can thrive and prosper as they move forward in their lives. We are a government that will stand right next to them. I commend the amendment to the amendment and I commend the fine original motion from the member for King.