Helping Families By Keeping Our Communities Safe

07 May 2024

The Allan Labor Government is investing in a safer Victoria – reducing reoffending, holding serious offenders to account and providing vital support to our hardworking emergency services.

The Victorian Budget 2024/25 delivers more than $1 billion for our justice system and emergency management response and recovery – as Victoria rebuilds from another summer of floods, storms and fire.

Keeping communities safe is at the core of our work to modernise our justice system. That means making sure we hold offenders to account, while also supporting them to turn their lives around.

This Budget includes $34.4 million for an enhanced bail supervision and support model and to trial electronic monitoring for a specific group of young offenders. This will act as an extra tool to help ensure that bail conditions are followed, and encourage young people to take the opportunity of bail as a chance to get back on track.

We also want to help more young people keep out of trouble and stay in schools and jobs. This Budget invests $34.8 million in programs that prevent young people from re‑entering the justice system.

These investments will hold young people to account and give them the support they need to get on track, with funding for the Weekend Online Remand Court and Youth Justice Bail After‑hours service.

We’re also supporting Balit Ngulu, delivered by the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, which provides crucial legal advice and assistance to Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who come into contact with the justice system.

To continue addressing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in the justice system, a further investment of $28.2 million will back Aboriginal‑led specialist family violence services and youth diversion services as well as dedicated in‑prison programs and supports.

We’ll also continue our Youth Crime Prevention and Early Intervention Project, with $6.6 million for Victoria Police to continue this successful program in Brimbank and Wyndham – and expand it to more suburbs and regional Victoria.

The Budget will support vulnerable kids to stay in education and break the cycle of disadvantage, with $28.4 million for a suite of initiatives to support students in the justice system – and $8.4 million to better support children in out‑of‑home care and strengthen the LOOKOUT program in schools and kinders.

Addressing the causes of offending is key to helping people stay out of the justice system – as part of a $41.3 million package, we’ll support adults in custody with family engagement services, transitional housing support, mental health and other key services.

Every day our emergency services are on the frontline, protecting Victorians from fires, floods and other incidents – we’re making sure they have the equipment they need to do their job.

The Budget will provide $18.6 million to deliver 15 world‑class replacement pumpers for CFA and $15.4 million for five Fire Rescue Victoria pumper platforms.

This brings our total investment in new fire services vehicles to more than $100 million since 2018 – with 29 new ultra‑heavy tankers, 48 heavy tankers and two light tankers for the CFA, and 22 new trucks and support vehicles currently on the way for FRV.

Volunteers are at the heart of our emergency services – giving up their time to protect their towns. VICSES will receive almost $7 million for their crucial services, including funding to deliver volunteer training and encourage more selfless and dedicated Victorians to join their local unit and give back to their community.

Following a summer that sadly saw too many preventable drownings on our beaches and waterways, the Budget invests $9.1 million to help keep Victorians safe around water through lifeguard services, helicopter and drone surveillance, rescue watercraft and public information and awareness campaigns.

We know Victorians have been hit hard by devastating floods, storms and fires over the past year – which for many communities adds to the toll of successive years of disasters. Recovery takes time, and the Labor Government will be with those affected every step of the way.

The Budget provides $302 million for the continued clean‑up, rebuild and repair of disaster‑hit areas across Victoria – including more than $50 million for clean‑up following the 2023‑24 floods, storms and fires.

It also includes $99 million to clean, repair and re‑open roads and public land, alongside $122.6 million for community recovery from the bushfires and storms over this summer. This funding will cover hardship payments, rebates, mental health support and levy waivers at waste depots.

The Budget continues to support Victorians affected by the October 2022 floods with $1.7 million to continue providing temporary accommodation.

During this summer’s disasters, communities were warned to prepare and evacuate well in advance – we’ll continue to give Victorians the most up‑to‑date emergency advice and warnings, with funding to maintain our emergency warning systems and the VicEmergency app.

In emergency situations, quick and clear lines of communication are crucial. The Budget will improve our radio networks, supporting the critical work of emergency services.

The Budget also includes $24.8 million for the State Control Centre to keep running as the heart of our emergency responses – recognising that we are facing an increasing number of natural disasters that require workers to respond to emergencies at a moment’s notice.

Community legal services do an incredible job making sure every Victorian can access the justice system, no matter what their situation is. We’re supporting this vital work with $28.1 million for community legal centres, specialist legal services and targeted intervention and supports for young people.

Victoria’s drug courts have been critical in helping treat and divert people away from the criminal justice system – with evaluations of the Dandenong and Melbourne drug courts showing a 15 per cent drop in reoffending after completing the program.

The Budget includes $112 million for courts to keep helping people deal with the issues that drive offending. This investment will also support the Magistrates’ Court’s Community Integrated Support Program, connecting people on bail with treatment, accommodation and services.

The Office of the Public Advocate will continue its important work helping vulnerable Victorians, with $15.6 million for the Independent Third Persons program, which helps to protect the rights of Victorians with disability, and for its guardianship, investigation and advocacy services.

We’ve undertaken a radical transformation to make it easier for victims of crime to get financial assistance and the support they need to recover from acts of violence. These victims will be better supported through our new Victims of Crime Financial Assistance Scheme, with $71.9 million for the scheme to start by 1 December.

The Budget will also deliver $31.4 million for the Office of Public Prosecutions to continue its essential work to hold offenders to account through the court system.

We are already delivering the strongest gambling reforms in Australia, and the Budgetcontinues our ongoing work to prevent and educate people about gambling harm.

We’re delivering$165.6 million for more Gambler’s Help services, community education campaigns and research – giving Victorians the tools and support they need to recognise gambling harm and get the help they need.

This is a Budget that strengthens the extraordinary work of our emergency responders to keep communities safe – because this is a Budget that’s helping families.

Quote attributable to Attorney‑General and Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes

“Through floods, fires and storms – our emergency services have been there for Victorians. We are supporting those communities to recover, and our dedicated emergency staff and volunteers to respond.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Police and Crime Prevention Anthony Carbines

“We’re continuing to back Victoria Police with the resources they need to protect Victorians and prevent crime – because when we address the root causes of offending, we make Victoria a safer place for everyone.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Corrections, Youth Justice and Victim Support Enver Erdogan

“By delivering a modern youth justice system and investing in programs to turn people’s lives around, we will help people to break the cycle of offending and have a better, more productive future – keeping the community safe.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Casino, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne

“Gambling harm affects everyone. We are delivering the toughest gambling reforms in the country and our investment in dedicated support services will help reduce harm and provide support to Victorians when they’re needed.”

Reviewed 07 May 2024

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