2943. Hon Alison Xamon to the minister representing the Minister for Corrective Services:
I refer to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on people who have been issued a work and development order (WDO), and I ask:
(a) has there been a decrease in opportunities for people to complete WDOs during the COVID-19 crisis;
(b) what work has the department undertaken to ensure people are not negatively impacted where the COVID-19 pandemic has meant they have been unable to undertaken required community work?
Hon Stephen Dawson replied:
(a) Yes. This is due to external agency projects and regional/remote communities closing during the pandemic.
(b) The Department has:
(1) Reduced the number of contracted days per person and people have been rotated through work parties, therefore allowing more people to cycle through workdays;
(2) Expanded the availability of Departmental indoor work parties where available and where the required social distancing can be adhered to;
(3) Negotiated with the Fines Enforcement Registry (FER) for opportunities to have people referred back to FER and allow lower repayments of fines until work parties can increase their capacity; and
(4) Considered suspending WDO obligations for up to 12 weeks, under section 78 of the Sentence Administration Act 2003, as required.