Justice fares well in the 2020-21 State Budget

Queensland’s Justice portfolio has fared well in the delayed 2020-21 Queensland Budget, with funding for infrastructure improvements and maintenance of key services.

Highlights include:

  • $13.271m to continue the ongoing program of improvement works in courthouses
  • $9.334m to expand and upgrade existing audio-visual capacity, including videoconferencing and in-custody appearances
  • $48.5m to respond to domestic and family violence, including counselling and crisis responses to ensure women and children’s safety, court-based support to victims and perpetrators, service system coordination and specialist responses for Aboriginal and Torres Islander families.

In addition, the following justice programs have been supported:

  • $13.892m to maintain the current child protection litigation model for a further 12 months.
  • $10m over four years commencing 2019-20 to implement recommendations of the Royal Commission – Criminal Justice Report (Institutional Child Sexual Abuse). This includes establishing a pilot Intermediary scheme in two locations and up to nine additional victim liaison officers in the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions.
  • $6m in additional funding over four years and $1.5m ongoing to support vulnerable populations to prevent domestic and family violence.
  • $2.251m for activities that support the Government’s Tackling Alcohol Fuelled Violence (TAFV) policy. Activities include operating Safe Night Precincts and associated support services, treatment programs for offenders convicted of alcohol/drug related violence.
  • $2.229m over two years to implement a joint application process for the NDIS check and the blue card check and evaluating merging the blue card and NDIS screening systems.
  • $2.094m increase for the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to reflect the inclusion of Community Visitors in the Public Service Award and to respond to increased workloads and continue to deliver protection to children in care and vulnerable adults.
  • $1.290m in funding for the continuation of project team resources to undertake the next tranche of blue card system reforms.
  • $1.136m for the continuation of the Childrens Court jurisdictional lead team, which leads work to improve court efficiency and data collection.
  • $599,000 to continue a reform program to address immediate demand pressures facing the coronial jurisdiction and implement recommendations made by the Queensland Audit Office to improve the delivery of coronial services.
  • $650,000 to support the integration of Queensland’s blue card database to the National Reference System established by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
  • Administered National Legal Assistance Partnership (NLAP) funding is provided for Legal Aid Queensland ($62.193m in 2020-21) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS) ($23.940m in 2020-21).
  • The NLAP has committed $443.623m over 2020-2025 to Queensland, which includes the administration of funding to community legal centres, Legal Aid Queensland and the ATSILS Queensland.
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