There will be more prosecutors in the courts and the Crime and Corruption Commission will be better placed to process digital evidence on a 24-7 basis, as a result of the Palaszczuk Government State Budget 2018-19 announced yesterday.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the Justice portfolio budget also included extension of the specialist Domestic and Family Violence Court in Townsville, funding for the introduction of a “No Card, No Start” policy for Blue Cards, and resources to tackle cyber bullying.
“The safety of our community is my number one priority,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“This budget delivers for Queensland, committing to investigating crime in all its forms, delivering justice, and supporting victims of crime.
“It also builds on our commitment to plan for the future, providing efficient justice and court services for the people of Queensland.”
Strengthening criminal justice
“We’ve provided $5 million in 2018-19 to fund 30 staff in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Mrs D’Ath said the Government was also extending the Townsville Specialist Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Court and associated Mount Isa and Palm Island circuit court.
“Tackling domestic and family violence remains one of the State Government’s highest priorities so there’s a total of $8.1 million across relevant agencies to expand the Townsville, Mount Isa and Palm Island DFV courts to deal with criminal DFV matters as well as civil matters,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“We’ve also allocated $9.1 million to make the successful Murri Courts permanent across Queensland and for the expansion of Court Link services to Southport, Mount Isa and Ipswich.
“The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council will receive $6.9 million to continue researching the effectiveness of sentencing practices in reducing crime, including the current review of the State’s child homicide laws.
“There is also $258,000 to assist with the finalisation of the Dreamworld coronial inquest to determine the cause of the 2016 deaths of four people.”
Protecting the vulnerable
The 2018-19 provides funding to help vulnerable members of society and enhance community safety.
“The Budget includes $17 million to help implement new Blue Card information technology and reforms including the ‘No Card, No Start’ policy.”
“We’ve also allocated $4.63 million to provide for 44 staff at the Director of Child Protection Litigation which assists with child protection matters in the courts.
“There’s also assistance for community education on cyber bullying with $396,000 for the Queensland Family and Child Commission’s ‘Out of the Dark’ program and ‘Hearing the voices of Children’ initiatives.
“Wide-ranging improvements have been made to Queensland’s victim assistance process and we have earmarked an additional $11.4 million in financial support to help victims of crime get their lives back on track.
“Funding of $910,000 will go to the Restorative Justice Program in Aurukun which is helping to improve community safety by enabling them to conduct local mediations.”
Enhancing justice agencies
“It’s vital our justice agencies can keep pace with the changing technological and social landscape,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“The 2018-19 Budget includes $16.3 million for the Crime and Corruption Commission to enhance its information security platform and deliver digital investigative services.
“We’ve also allocated $2.5 million to boost staff at the Office of the Public Guardian and Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to meet demands arising from the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“The Palaszczuk Government remains committed to introducing a Human Rights Act for Queensland; the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland will receive $2.5 million to support the Act’s administration and operation.
“There will also be $2.5 million for the Office of the Information Commissioner for additional resources and officers to review decisions about access to government agency information.”
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath