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April 16, 2021

Lismore council’s Social Justice and Crime Prevention Committee report

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An Ordinary Meeting of Lismore City Council will be held at the council chambers today with the main focus on the report from the Social Justice and Crime Prevention Committee.

Councillors noted that Lismore is the central hub for legal services in the Northern Rivers and North Coast of NSW. The Lismore legal precinct includes the Local and Children’s Court but also includes the District and Supreme Courts which service clients from the Richmond Valley, Kyogle, Byron, Ballina and Tweed Shire Local Government Areas.

Over the course of 2018, the Lismore City Council Social Justice and Crime Prevention Committee members shared their personal and professional experiences of the demands, gaps and challenges faced in the drug and alcohol, justice and housing sectors.

In addition the committee has found that there is a need for culturally and gender appropriate residential rehabilitation services for Aboriginal women and children, for women and children and for individuals with dual diagnosis; there is a need for detox services for youth; there is a need for the expansion of the Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment Program (the MERIT program) to adequately address the overwhelming demand and allow individuals with alcohol issues to participate; and, there is a need for the return of the Life On Track program.

The committee members included councillors Eddie Lloyd, Chair; Darlene Cook, Vanessa Ekins, Adam Guise and Neil Marks as well as Mayor Isaac Smith. Other members were Lismore’s Office of the Director Public Prosecutions, Department of Community Corrections, Aboriginal Legal Service; Legal Aid, Lismore City Council Aboriginal Advisory Group, The Buttery Residential Rehabilitation Centre, Women Up North Housing, Namatjira Haven Ltd, Rekindling the Spirit, Jordan Keogh, 3VC Tracey Kristiansen, Sophie Anderson and Ben Cochrane, Barristers for Commercial Bank Chambers, and Criminal Defence Lawyer Kylie-Anderson Clarke.

The meeting will be held at the Council Chambers, this evening, Tuesday, June 11 at 6pm.

For more information, visit the Lismore City Council website.

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