Presumption against bail for weapon offences to be debated in NT parliament

March 28, 2023 3:57 pm in by
Nine News

Reforms that would introduce a presumption against bail for violent offences involving weapons will be introduced into NT parliament tomorrow.

Chief Minister Natasha Fyles and Attorney General Chansey Paech this afternoon announced the move in a bid to stop knife crimes across the Territory.

The bail changes would apply to adults and youths as well as co-offenders even if they do not possess the weapon.

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Mr Paech says the changes will apply to edged weapons crimes.

“They are offences that relate to people with a weapon such as a knife, an axe, a machete, a crossbow because we are saying that enough is enough.”

The announcement comes more than a week after a 20-year-old man was allegedly murdered while working at a Darwin bottle shop and three days after a crime rally outside of parliament house.

Mr Paech says the government has taken a measured approach rather than a knee-jerk reaction.

“We have worked with all of the relevant agencies over the last week to make sure that our response is considered and that there are no unintended consequences throughout the justice system.”

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Bail Act Review

He says a review of the Bail Act, which was announced last week will continue.

“The review is still underway, and we’re working through that again in a considered approach.”

“This is around agencies immediately coming around the table, working through and looking at where there are the appropriate avenues to look at strengthening the Bail Act.”

But he says there will be no final report following the review.

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“There is no report that will be commissioned at the end of the review.”

“As the information comes to light and considerations are given around those agencies and with government, we’ll absolutely, if appropriate, take action.”

The Attorney General says he will give notice to the legislative assembly that the government plans to introduce amendments to the Bail Act tomorrow.

The NT Government hopes the bill will pass through parliament on the same day.