Successful regional open days program to extend to Perth
Armadale, Swan, Rockingham and Stirling the first locations chosen
A landmark regional program delivering services to Aboriginal people across the State to help them keep out of the criminal justice system is now being expanded into the metropolitan area.
Attorney General Michael Mischin said 194 open days had been held in mainly regional areas since August 2011, providing 'one stop shops' where Government agencies came together in a central location to deliver services, free wherever possible, to the local Aboriginal community.
"Last year, open days were held in regional areas such as Broome, Wyndham, Roebourne and Morawa, helping more than 2,000 people," Mr Mischin said.
"Attendees can obtain identity documents like birth certificates from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages; arrange to pay off their outstanding fines with the Fines Enforcement Registry; sit theory and practical driving tests through the Department of Transport; access community support services; and explore employment opportunities
"Facilitating access to these services helps in diverting Aboriginal people, particularly youth, from becoming involved in the justice system."
Positive outcomes from the Open Days held in 2015 included:
- $1 million in outstanding fines converted to time-to-pay arrangements
- 65 people regaining a driver's licence through having their fine suspension lifted
- 332 births being registered
- 797 people lodging applications for a birth certificate
- 146 people gained a driver's licence learner's permit
- 151 people passed their practical driving assessment.
The Attorney General said the open days had already allowed the State Government to deliver services to some of the most remote communities in Western Australia.
"Many of the challenges facing Aboriginal people in the regions are common to Aboriginal people living in Perth," he said.
"Therefore we will expand the program this year into the metropolitan areas of Armadale, Swan, Rockingham and Stirling, as well as maintain a regional presence."
The next series of open days planned up to the end of June 2016 include Carnarvon on today and February 10; Roebourne on February 22-23; Warakurna on March 14; Warburton on March 18; Armadale on March 18 and May 20; Nullagine on April 4; Newman on April 5; Rockingham on April 29 and June 17; Beagle Bay on May 2; Balga on May 6 and July 1; Midland on June 3; and Port Hedland on June 13-14.
A trial of open days in Armadale late last year resulted in $173,494 in outstanding fines converted to time-to-pay arrangements, 39 birth certificate applications, 17 births registered, 24 birth letters issued and 10 theoretical driving tests passed
For more information, contact Bob Taddeo, Director, Policy and Aboriginal Services on 9264 1908
Attorney General's office - 6552 5600