Not enough justice for juvenile justice minister

Minister for Juvenile Justice Graham West was shocked when Father Chris Riley from Youth of the Streets rang him this week.

Together they had worked successfully towards an innovative plan to build four bail houses to keep young offenders out of detention while they await trial.

Mr West had fought hard to get agreement from his government colleagues for the houses, as part of his over-arching desire to assist the disadvantaged. But something was wrong, very wrong.

The Department of Commerce had dumped the project without informing the minister and it was only when Father Riley rang that he heard the news.

‘He had believed he had won the fight in terms of funding and he was shocked when I called him and said he knew nothing about it,’ Father Riley told the Sydney Morning Herald.

So distressed was Mr West that he rang Premier Christina Keneally and resigned, later saying he had been thinking about the decision for some time.

Father Riley said he would reconsider on the weekend his position on the Premier’s Homelessness Advisory Council because of Labor’s treatment of Mr West.

‘I’ve been fighting juvenile justice ministers and the law and order agenda for 20 years and finally in Graham we had a minister with real vision,” he said.

”I wonder where this government is going when it stamps on people such as Graham, who is a good man who got it right.”

Mr West, a devout Catholic, entered politics out of a desire to pursue social justice – let’s hope he gets another opportunity to pursue this agenda.

Eternity Christian Church Campbelltown is working tirelessly in NSW juvenile justice centres and no doubt will be sad to Mr West go. He visited and commended they’re homework centre ar Reiby juvenile justice centre. PH

2 thoughts on “Not enough justice for juvenile justice minister

  1. Interestingly, TWO respected politicians gave notice this week: Graham West and Judy Hopwood. It is rare enough for politicians to be respected (and Judy Hopwood is very respected in her electorate of Hornsby – see the front page of the Hornsby Advocate of this week,, yet here we have two policitiancs both respected, and they both gave notice of their resignation in the same week, and dig this: they both resigned because they felt they could do more good outside parliament than in.

    Sometimes when something important needs to be said, it gets repeated. Here I think there is a message for us being said, though I am not entirely sure what it is, but I do not think that the message is that parliament is a bad place and politics is stuffed, but rather perhaps that we need to take a serious interest in our politicians and our government. It’s not easy being there, and important decisions are made there… and also outside parliament. Hmmm… maybe the point is about also supporting and praying for our public servants.

  2. Great comment thanks Phil. I had not seen the Hopwood story and her reasoning is very similar to Graham West’s.

    My related blog http://austchristianvoter.blogspot is an attempt to inform and motivate Christians in the lead up to the next federal election but clearly the issues much broader than that…

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