SAFER COURTS AND MORE EFFICIENT JUSTICE FOR VICTORIANS
Improved security, support for victims of family violence and more efficient courts will improve Victoria’s justice system as part of the Victorian Budget 2016/17.
A $58.1 million investment in court safety and security upgrades will see more than 70 additional security officers employed, providing a security presence at every court across the state.
Security upgrades will also see x-ray machines installed at the entry of four suburban and eight regional court locations.
Separate waiting areas for family violence victims, additional interview rooms and building refurbishments will see 16 courts upgraded. This investment allows work to commence on implementing recommendations from the Family Violence Royal Commission on improving security in court facilities.
The establishment of a $32 million Melbourne Drug Court will complement the existing Drug Court at Dandenong, and provide capacity for an additional 170 drug offenders to receive targeted support to address their drug use. The funding includes increased support for agencies such as Victoria Police, the Health Department, and clinical and legal service providers.
Victims of family violence will benefit from a $4.6 million boost to legal assistance. This will continue and expand specialist family violence services at community legal centres and Victoria Legal Aid. Awareness and early intervention initiatives aimed at addressing violence in Aboriginal communities and further support for the Koori Women’s Diversion Program will be delivered in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The Coroners Court will receive $9.8 million over three years for the transport of deceased persons.
$4 million will be provided over four years to further modernise service delivery at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The Tribunal will introduce a range of customer service enhancements including improved online access.
JobWatch will have its funding continued so it can provide advice to Victorian workers on unfair dismissal, discrimination, redundancy, termination and bullying or harassment.
Quotes attributable to Attorney General Martin Pakula
“The Victorian justice system is at the forefront of dealing with some of the most pressing issues in our community, including the impacts of family violence and drug-related crime.”
“This Budget will see key projects and initiatives funded that will better support and equip our courts to perform their work and support those in our community who are most in need.”