Victoria’s law courts and court systems are to receive significant improvements in the coming year following this week’s Budget 2020/21 which includes funds to develop new facilities to provide a strong, efficient, cutting-edge justice system that will allow matters to be heard remotely and safely.
The Budget includes $47.3 million to improve audio-visual technology and provide greater flexibility in court and justice processes, $272 million to build new law courts in Wyndham, $26.8 million to upgrade the Sunshine Law Courts and $2.5 million towards the Office of the Public Advocate to continue to safeguard the rights of people with disability.
“The Budget is delivering $27.2 million for the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) to continue and expand its important work – and to assist IBAC’s transition to budgetary independence,” the Treasurer said in a statement.
He said, like all of us, the State’s justice system has had to do things differently this year – “which means our courts haven’t been able to move through cases as quickly as they normally do.”
The improvements for the courts and their systems were welcomed by Attorney-General, Jill Hennessy.
“Our courts have had to adapt this year,” Ms Hennessy said, “this investment will help them keep evolving and delivering the justice Victorians deserve.”
“Not only will this ensure the safety of our courts in the short-term, it’ll create a stronger, faster and more flexible justice system on the other side of this pandemic,” she said.
The Budget also provides $28.5 million to ensure young and disadvantaged Victorians have access to community legal services, including more support for Victoria Legal Aid’s 24/7 on-call service.