The Victorian government has delayed two new laws aimed at protecting vulnerable Aboriginal children and reducing youth offending until after the State election.

The government had flagged introduction one of the new laws in parliament this year, with the other already in the Upper House, but it is now expected no action will be taken on either before the November election.

A 2017 Armytage-Ogloff review found the system was in crisis and in need of significant cultural change and structural reform.

But the long-awaited Youth Justice Bill to address issues identified in the review has not been introduced to parliament.

The Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Child Protection) Bill 2021 was also delayed after the Greens moved an amendment to the bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14.

The Bill, which would empower Indigenous organisations to manage child-protection cases passed Victoria’s lower house of parliament in October but has now been pulled from the agenda in the Upper House.

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency chief executive Muriel Bamblett said raising the age of criminality was an urgent moral imperative.

“I hope to make sure there is appropriate community consultation and to make sure the Bill is designed so Aboriginal young people get better outcomes – we won’t settle for anything less,” she said.

“There have been successful diversion programs for young offenders and this is what we need more of, investment in strengthening families and communities to stop the cycle of offending and this is much cheaper than opening and running prisons.”

The Andrews Government made youth justice reform one of its key election commitments at the 2014 poll.

Victorian Youth Justice Minister Natalie Hutchins said the Youth Justice Bill remained under development.

“We’re focused on diverting young people from the justice system by working with their families and supporting programs to keep their lives on track,” she said.

“The Cherry Creek youth justice facility is on track to be completed this year and will lead to improved rehabilitation for young people and safer conditions for staff.”

Ms Hutchins said there has been a decline in the number of youth coming into contact with the Victorian justice system. in the past decade.

Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam said the two pieces of pieces of legislation had been “delayed indefinitely”.

Ms Ratnam introduced amendments to the Children, Youth and Families Bill, including raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14, and reforms to keep children out of solitary confinement.

Ms Ratnam said raising the age of criminal responsibility is a debate the Victorian parliament must have.

“It is disappointing that the government is avoiding the debate on our amendments and delaying important reforms,” she said.

“The Victorian Greens also support the call from Djirra, VALS and the Women’s Legal Service to remove clauses from the Children Youth and Families Bill that reduce judicial oversight.

“We know this would disproportionately impact Aboriginal women and people with disabilities, and put more kids on track for removal from their families.”

Victorians will go the polls on November 26.