You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Extension granted to NT royal commission

AAP logoAAP 16/12/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

The Northern Territory's royal commission into juvenile justice has been given an extra four months to deliver it's final report.

The federal and NT governments have agreed to the extend the date to August 1 next year, to be covered by the existing budget.

"Given the importance of the royal commission's work, both governments consider that it is reasonable and appropriate to grant the short extension. No further extensions will be granted," they said in a joint statement on Friday.

The inquiry will deliver an interim report by March 31.

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner has previously said he wanted to keep the March deadline so he could get on with his reform agenda.

"This is a living situation, there are children in youth justice right now," he said on Thursday.

Mr Gunner said only the existing time frame would allow the inquiry's recommendations to be incorporated into the May budget.

The extension would not add any extra costs to the inquiry's estimated $50 million budget, which is being shared by the NT and commonwealth governments.

The NT government has been receiving ongoing guidance on policy from the inquiry and Mr Gunner is keen to make more reforms around diversionary sentencing and rehabilitation as soon as possible.

"I wouldn't want to get to January or February and have some good options on the table and not make a decision," he said.

It comes as the ABC reports the inquiry is considering a trip to New Zealand to look at alternative approaches outside the formal criminal justice system.

The inquiry wrapped up for the year on Wednesday after hearing from the Aboriginal teenager who has become the face of the mistreatment of young offenders in the Territory.

Dylan Voller came out of an adult jail on Monday to give evidence, painting a disturbing picture of mental and physical torment during his time as a boy behind bars.

The 19-year-old claimed he was starved, regularly strip-searched and forced to defecate in a pillowcase after being denied access to toilets.

Footage of Voller and other boys being tear-gassed, spit-hooded and shackled in the NT prompted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to call the inquiry.

Antoinette Carroll, Voller's youth justice advocate for seven years, also told the inquiry the inmate was "set up to fail" by the NT's broken child protection and detention system.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon