Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed commencement of discussions with the Federal Government over funding for a Custody Notification Service (CNS).
“I'm very pleased to see the WA Attorney General’s interest in introducing a Custody Notification Service (CNS) in WA to drive down Aboriginal deaths in custody in the state”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“The Custody Notification Service operating in NSW has effectively stopped Aboriginal deaths in custody in New South Wales (NSW) since implementation in 2000.
“In May this year I wrote to Premier McGowan urging him to reconsider the decision by the previous Barnett Government who actively turned down funding by the Federal Government to roll out such a scheme in Western Australia.
“Former Premier Barnett said that the current services were ‘sufficient’, which obviously they are not.
“Although the previous Government’s extension of a hotline run by the Department of Corrective Services was a step in the right direction, it is not mandatory and not independently run. Subsequently, it has been criticised by WA Aboriginal legal services and family members of people that have died in custody for not going far enough.
“I am excited to see Mr McGowan outline in correspondence in response to my letter they that they are progressing discussions with the Federal Government to secure funding for a service which would dramatically reduce avoidable Aboriginal deaths in custody in this state.
"I urge both the State and Federal Governments to reach an agreement on this matter as soon as possible".