Margaret Quirk

Margaret Quirk

Minister for Corrective Services; Small Business

    Offenders repay their debt to society in Fremantle

    11/04/2008 12:00 AM

    Offenders are achieving their own goals while repaying their debt to society by maintaining and repairing facilities at Fremantle Oval.


    A plaque was unveiled at the oval’s clubrooms today by Corrective Services Minister Margaret Quirk, to recognise the successful partnership between the Department of Corrective Services’ Repay WA initiative and the South Fremantle Football Club (SFFC).


    “Court-ordered community work projects give offenders an opportunity to repay their debt to society for crimes committed,” Ms Quirk said.


    “They can also help them develop new skills for future employment.


    “Research consistently shows that prisoners who can be gainfully employed after their release are much less likely to re-offend.  Equipping prisoners with job skills not only makes them ready for work, but it also contributes to community safety and that can only be a good thing.


    “At the South Fremantle Football Club, offenders under supervision have provided a high standard of grounds and grandstand maintenance for more than 12 years, ensuring the oval remains both a quality sports destination during the football season as well as an appealing venue for tourists who visit the oval all year round.


    “This Government is finding ways of not only making people accountable for their crimes, but also promoting community development and helping prepare offenders for crime-free life.


    “Repay WA is a successful example of this philosophy at work.”


    SFFC chief executive officer Brian Ciccotosto said the contribution by Repay WA had been invaluable to the club and local community.


    “We have benefited greatly from the Repay WA partnership and our relationship with the local Community Justice Services office,” Mr Ciccotosto said.


    “The work at the club by offenders has been enormously beneficial.


    “The facilities are used heavily during the football season by SFFC for games and training and by the Fremantle Dockers for training, and must be kept in top condition.


    “As well, because the grandstand is a local heritage icon, we have tourists visiting all year round and need to present the facilities at their best.”


    The Repay WA initiative was launched in April 2004 to support the abolition of sentences of six months or less.


    “For some offenders, a community-based order is a more fitting and practical sentencing option for the courts,” the Minister said.


    Supervised community work saves taxpayers money, costing 10 times less than sending someone to prison.  Community work by community-based offenders contributes about 250,000 hours each year.


    At any one time, there are about 1,800 community work projects operating in WA - 1,400 in regional areas and 400 in the metropolitan area.


    Minister's Office - 9213 7000