Queensland Budget 2023-24 highlights for lawyers

The Queensland Budget 2023-24 focuses on some big numbers in cost-of-living measures, improving the health system, building more housing, youth justice initiatives and the response to the Hear Her Voice – Report Two.

But there are many things Queensland lawyers may be interested to learn about in the details of the 2023-24 State Budget which was released today in Brisbane.

These include:

$1.435 billion cost-of-living relief in electricity rebates, including a $650 rebate to small businesses;

$13.4 million over four years for the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to assist in meeting demand pressures;

$19.3m over five years for a review of the Positive Behaviour Support and Restrictive Practices authorisation framework;

$17.6m over four years to provide specialist disability supports for adults ineligible for the NDIS;

$3.5m over three years to support implementation of community titles legislation reform;

$1.3m to the Queensland Human Rights Commission to better manage complaints and enquiries;

$3.7m over four years to support the Office of Parliamentary Counsel;

$50.8m over five years to implement a package of Government integrity reforms in response to the Coaldrake and Yearbury Reports;

$32.4m over five years to implement the government response to the Commission of Inquiry Relating to the Crime and Corruption Commission;

$24.4m over four years for increased compliance work by the Queensland Revenue Office;

$1m to implement an automated land tax exemption for domestic residences where data matching verifies eligibility.

Justice System Improvements

$34 million over four years for the District Court of Queensland to support escalating workloads in the criminal justice system;

$18.6m over four years to Legal Aid Queensland for the extension of the protected witness scheme;

$18.9m over four years for the Coroners Court to assist in comprehensive and timely investigations and $672,000 over two years to support the Queensland Coronial Legal Service;

$105.3m over five years to implement measures in response to the Commission of Inquiry into Forensic DNA Testing in Queensland;

$58.3m over four years to address gaps in domestic, family and sexual violence service provision;

$2.1m over two years for public intoxication diversionary services in Mt Isa;

$23.5m over two years additional funding for the Parole Board of Queensland to assist in meeting demand;

$4.7m over four years for the Enhanced Community Corrections Pilot in Townsville to reduce rates of imprisonment of First Nations people and reduce recidivism;

$2.1m over four years for an enhanced, police, armoured-vehicle fleet.

Children’s Issues and Youth Crime

$167.2 million over four years to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children over-representation in the child protection system;

$109.9m over five years additional funding for youth detentions centre operations and $89.7m over three years to address capacity issues at youth detention centres;

$446.4m over five years to address youth crime issues, including:

  • $16.5m over four years to pilot fast-track sentencing of youth justice matters through proactive case management of matters, including $4.7m for Legal Aid Queensland
  • $5.1m over three years to support Early Action Groups in places such as Townsville, Cairns and Mount Isa
  • $462,000 to support the delivery of education to young people held in watch houses
  • $9m over four years to support victims of violent crime
  • $8m over two years for the Townsville High Risk Youth Court
  • $4m over two years to strengthen youth justice bail laws introduced by the Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
  • $5m over four years establish community-led, justice reinvestment initiatives
  • $10m over three years to support a comprehensive evaluation of the government’s youth justice response
  • $78.1m over four years to expand the co-responder model to deal with and divert high-risk young people
  • $29.4m over four years to provide location specific diversionary responses to youth crime
  • $5m over two years to help communities develop and trial localised responses to address youth offending
  • $4.2m over two years to provide culture-based rehabilitation for First Nations young people in Cairns, Mt Isa and Townsville
  • $5m over three years to engage youth justice works to partner with police to form a Specialist Youth Crime Rapid Response Squad
  • $4.2m over three years for the Street University in Townsville
  • $4m over two years for expanded electronic monitoring of young people on bail
  • $50m over two years for PCYCs to increase services
  • $1.5m over three years for the Cairns Safer Streets and Midnight Basketball Program
  • $10m over three years for a vehicle immobiliser trial in Cairns, Townsville and Mt Isa

Hear Her Voice – Report Two

$225 million over five years to respond to the recommendations of the Queensland Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce Hear Her Voice – Report Two, including:

  • $12.6m over five years for support of victim-survivors through the criminal justice system, including establishing a victim’s commissioner
  • $8.1m over four years to support prosecution responses to victim-survivors of sexual violence
  • $7m over three years to better understand the use of jury directions and expert evidence in sexual offence proceedings, including piloting an expert evidence panel
  • $3.1m over two years to deliver more timely, adult restorative justice conferencing
  • $2.5m over five years for a public education campaign about sexual violence and consent
  • $1.9m over four years to address barriers to reporting sexual violence, including a review of reasonable excuses listed in section 229BC(4) of the Criminal Code
  • $5.8m over four years to improve experiences of the legal system of women and girls including funding for Legal Aid Queensland, community legal centres and lawyers to provide legal advice and representation
  • $6.5m over three years dedicated to court management of sexual offence cases, including consideration of a special list and pilot of a voluntary case conferencing model
  • $5.7m over four years to support women and girls applying for bail, including expansion of early bail support programs beyond SEQ
  • $8.8m over two years for rehabilitation programs for girls in detention.
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