Responding To Emergencies And Helping Victorians Recover

24 November 2020

This year has shown that backing our police and emergency service workers with the resources and support they need is more important than ever, as they respond to emergencies and natural disasters – and sticking with communities as they recover is too.

That’s why the Victorian Budget 2020/21 continues to deliver modern, innovative and world-class policing and emergency services to keep all Victorians safe.

To continue our support for communities devastated by last summer’s bushfires – as well as providing an ongoing dedicated agency – $123.8 million will be invested over four years to ensure Bushfire Recovery Victoria can keep supporting Victorians in their recovery journey.

This is on top of a nearly $20 million investment over two years to staff the State Control Centre 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide greater focus on response and preparedness all year round.

Emergency service staff and volunteers will also be better placed to respond to incidents, with $4 million for technology and system upgrades – including mobile devices allowing staff to access critical emergency information while they’re out in the field.

This Budget will also make sure volunteers at Victoria’s Marine Search and Rescue, Lifesaving Victoria and VICSES have the facilities, tools and resources they need to keep Victorians safe, with $10.8 million for facility upgrades and ongoing operational support.

Victoria Police has been at the forefront of our response to the pandemic, and the Budget includes $38.9 million to support coronavirus enforcement and operations.

We’ll also continue to keep road users safe, with $6.6 million to conduct 150,000 roadside drug tests in 2020-21 – as we did last year. A further $15.1 million over three years will be brought forward to target speeding drivers, with a planned 75 per cent increase in mobile road safety camera hours from May 2021.

Critical Victoria Police initiatives will continue, with $19.4 million for the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre – which brings together police and mental health clinicians to monitor high-risk individuals and respond to serious threats of violence.

The Embedded Youth Outreach Program will also continue, helping turn at-risk young people away from crime.

Former and current Victoria Police employees who have experienced workplace sex discrimination or sexual harassment will continue to be supported through the Restorative Engagement and Redress Scheme, with funding of $8 million to maintain this important program.

This year’s Budget also delivers a major investment to improve IT and other digital systems to set up Victoria Police for the future and help them serve and protect the community with more efficient and effective policing operations.

This includes $330 million over four years to continue service delivery expansion, establish new platforms for centralised rostering and improved procurement, and expand the role of mobile technology to drive improvements to frontline policing.

With this Budget, the Andrews Labor Government is giving Victoria’s police and emergency services the resources they need now, and into the future, to keep our communities safe.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville

“Our police and emergency services have had a year like no other. They worked tirelessly through an unprecedented fire season and then jumped straight into action to support our state’s response to the pandemic.”

“Just as our first responders have supported us, this Budget is about supporting them – making sure they have the tools they need to keep people safe, save lives and serve Victorians.”

Reviewed 24 November 2020

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