The ACT’s Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker has been appointed as Acting Judge of the Supreme Court, where she will oversee the ACT’s first Drug and Alcohol Court (DAC).
“The DAC aims to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour by supporting offenders to deal with drug and alcohol addiction,” said ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay.
“The DAC will have significant long-term benefit for the ACT community through reduction in crime and antisocial behaviour.”
Ms Walker will support the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Helen Murrell, for a period of 12 months until August 2020.
The DAC is expected to be operational by the end of the year. It was also announced that Magistrate Glenn Theakston has been appointed as Acting Chief Magistrate in Ms Walker’s absence, while Margaret Hunter OAM has been re-appointed as a Special Magistrate for an additional year until December 2020.
Le Couteur’s last term
ACT Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur has announced her retirement, saying she will not stand at the next ACT Assembly election in 2020.
The Member for Murrumbidgee made the announcement on 5 August, ahead of Greens preselection processes. She said she intends to stay on until the next election, with “still so much to do” in the next 14 months.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said throughout her time in the assembly Ms Le Couteur has “supported the progressive political outlook of the majority of Canberrans”, and wished her well for in retirement.
Focus on vulnerable road users
The joint road safety campaign between ACT Policing and the Justice and Community Safety Directorate has a focus on vulnerable road users during August.
Vulnerable road users are the people who are most likely to suffer serious injury or death in a collision: children, pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists.
Drivers are reminded to observe speed limits, including 40km/h school zones, and to allow a safe distance of at least one metre at 60km/h or less and 1.5 metres at speeds above 60km/h when passing cyclists.
Demand for Safe Shelter
Safe Shelter ACT’s three inner city shelters, in halls at St Columba’s and the Salvation Army in Braddon and All Saints in Ainslie, continue to record strong numbers using their service.
As at 3 August, Safe Shelter has provided shelter for 667 guest-nights; in the same 14 weeks in 2018, Safe Shelter’s volunteers provided 370 guest-nights.
Motion for change
The Legislative Assembly passed a motion from Labor MLA Tara Cheyne on Wednesday 31 July with regards to the environmental impacts of disposable nappies, continence pads and sanitary products.
As part of the motion, Ms Cheyne called on the government to consider coordinating or supporting initiatives that encourage the use of sustainable cloth nappies, continence pads and sanitary products, including: investigating the feasibility of introducing rebate schemes; supplying, or liaising with other groups or businesses to supply, cloth nappy kits; providing, or liaising with community groups to provide, free introductory workshops showcasing cloth nappies and reusable sanitary products; and producing educational material highlighting the benefits of using sustainable products.