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Fight pledged to overturn 'betrayal' child bail laws

Aboriginal legal representatives have pledged a major campaign to overturn tougher NSW bail laws after the changes were pushed through in a marathon parliamentary session.

Premier Chris Minns on Friday denied the bail overhaul, which is aimed at curbing youth crime in regional areas, represented a betrayal of young Indigenous people, despite previously admitting it would lead to more children being held in custody.

The controversial laws will make it harder for older children to be released if charged for some serious offences while similar charges are pending.

They passed NSW parliament's upper house during an all-night sitting on Thursday.

Sparked by community concerns about a rise in violent break-ins and car thefts in regional areas, the laws faced widespread opposition from youth advocates and legal groups.

But Mr Minns said the government had struck the right balance with the laws only applying to "two offences and that is break and enter into a premises and theft of a motor vehicle".

NSW Premier Chris Minns
NSW Premier Chris Minns denies new bail laws are a betrayal of young people. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)

"It's in response to the data and information particularly from regional communities that's showing, for example in Moree, that break and enter into a home is 800 per cent higher than the average," he told ABC Radio.

He said he did not accept a suggestion the changes were a "betrayal" of young people, despite criticism from within his party about the fresh provisions.

Under the changes, a judge needs a high degree of confidence a person aged between 14 and 18 will not commit a further serious indictable offence while on bail, before granting bail.

The bail amendments are temporary and expire after 12 months.

The laws create a criminal offence aimed at stamping out so-called "posting and boasting" on social media about car thefts or break-ins.

The state's Aboriginal Legal Service said it would fight to get the laws wound back, citing an open letter from Labor-aligned lawyers critical of the reforms.

"While the bill has passed, the fight to rectify these dangerous laws is far from over," ALS chief executive Karly Warner said.

The legislation passed the upper house despite resistance from within government ranks, with Labor MP Cameron Murphy telling parliament the changes would "ultimately send more Indigenous kids to jail".

Opposition MPs voted to pass the laws despite arguing they were raced through and failed to address offending by young children, those aged from 10 to 14.

"This rushed response contains significant gaps and untested decision-making," Liberal MP Susan Carter told parliament.

The laws also faced opposition from the Greens and some legal experts, including the NSW Bar Association and Law Society of NSW, who argued they would lead to higher incarceration rates for vulnerable children.

Attorney-General Michael Daley said the government had been cautious with its measures due to "the potentially serious consequences for young people and, in particular, Aboriginal young people".