The Andrews Labor Government will deliver major improvements to Victorian courts, so they better protect victims of family violence.
The Victorian Budget 2017/18 will provide $130.3 million to fully implement five Specialist Family Violence Courts at the Ballarat, Frankston, Shepparton, Moorabbin and Heidelberg Magistrates’ Courts. This investment is an important step in implementing one of the key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
The courts will receive extra resources, including specialist support staff or security upgrades to keep victim survivors and their families safe. Additional support workers will also be located at the Melbourne Children’s Court.
The Budget also delivers $89.2 million to replace 1980s IT systems at the Children’s and Magistrates’ courts. A new case management system will provide better access to information across the courts, including details relevant to family violence intervention order applications.
This will make court processes faster and help magistrates make more informed decisions to keep victims safe, addressing key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
The Budget also provides $49.9 million for Victoria Legal Aid and community legal centres to help victim survivors with family violence intervention orders and child protection matters.
The Court Integrated Services Program (CISP) and CISP Remand Outreach Pilot will be expanded with a $25.1 million investment. These funds will see increased monitoring, treatment and supervision of people on bail and remand, keeping victim survivors safer.
The Budget will also deliver $9.4 million for the family violence restorative justice program, to be rolled out to an additional six Magistrates’ Courts. The program offers victim survivors the chance to participate in a range of recovery and healing opportunities, including victim impact panels.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Our justice system has been letting victims down for too long – that changes today.”
“We’ve listened to victim survivors and these changes reflect their needs. From keeping victims safe to upgrading court technology, this is a once in a generation opportunity to get this right.”
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula
“Victim survivors, vulnerable children and their families deserve to feel safe and supported in the justice system.”
“We’re making our courts safer, we’re holding perpetrators to account and we’re working to keep victims of family violence safe.”