When Tania Maxwell is out campaigning for election in Northern Victoria, the people she meets regularly want to talk about addressing a rise in crime and ice use.
She said instead of just being reactive, government needs to focus on preventing crime.
“I don’t believe that you can truly address issues without looking at early and primary prevention,” Ms Maxwell said.
“If we’re trying to reduce crime, you have to look at a collective impact framework.
“It’s imperative that you look at what’s causing the crime, what needs to be done, what are the barriers.”
A series of murders and sexual and violent crimes which occurred in Wangaratta led Ms Maxwell to launch the Enough is Enough campaign in 2016, and put pressure on politicians to impose tougher laws for bail and sexual offences.
Now she wants to continue that work within Parliament House as an MP herself, but said she would also campaign on issues raised by the community.
“It often comes back to ice use, crime and the crime that comes from the ice use, lack of mental health resources, lack of rehabilitation services, and our very lenient sentences that don’t meet community expectations,” she said.
Ms Maxwell said it was also important to focus on the positives, such as the way communities can be connected through sport or music.
She said government should have a role in ensuring this was available to families in all financial situations.
“I see the cost as a barrier to that strength in communities. Sporting communities have a lot to offer, but it’s not accessible to all,” she said.
“If you’ve got a few children and you come from a really low socio-economic background, and the problem with dysfunction is in the home, how do you escape from that?
“They’re always in the home together because they can’t get out to play sport and mix with other families.”
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