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In state news, NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley has stared down growing opposition to controversial new youth bail laws from within her own party, challenging critics to travel to regional towns affected by an increase in youth crime.

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Members of Labor’s left faction, the Australian Services Union and the Aboriginal Legal Service will gather in Sydney to urge the government to repeal changes to the Bail Act passed through parliament last month, which make it harder for offenders aged 14 to 18 already on bail for certain crimes to get bail if they recommit.

Speaking on Sydney radio earlier this morning, Catley said the Labor party was a “broad church”, but the changes were “about doing the right thing” for regional communities.

“What some people observing this in the city don’t understand is that repeated bail without backup, with no intervention whatsoever, is just a road to ruin,” she told 2GB’s Ben Fordham.

“I’m happy to look anyone in my party in the eye and tell them … to get out to Moree or Bourke or Wilcannia and tell these kids who are on their 20th bail how they’re going to keep them out of jail.”

Indigenous groups, legal organisations and Labor MPs have expressed serious concerns about the laws, with prominent Inner West Labor mayor Darcy Byrne saying: “Many party members remember how the Carr government’s tough-on-crime agenda led to more incarceration and recidivism and are worried that history is repeating itself.”

The changes come after Queensland last year overrode the state’s Human Rights Act to pass laws that made breaching bail an offence for children.



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