Queenslanders will have better and faster access to justice, with the Palaszczuk Government increasing funding to the operations of the courts by $57.7 million over the next four years.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said as the State’s population continued to grow, so did the demands on the court system.
“To address this, the Palaszczuk Government’s 2019-20 State Budget will provide the courts and justice agencies with even more resources,” she said.
“An extra $13.1 million will go towards the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal over five years to boost services and help deliver on the lemon laws which were introduced in April to provide greater consumer protection for Queenslanders who get stuck with defective vehicles.”
Mrs D’Ath said $2.9 million will go towards the Coroners Court, including a second temporary registrar unit.
“We will also provide increased funding of $6.6 million over four years to expand Court Link to Maroochydore, Redcliffe and Caboolture, and to integrate with the Queensland Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment Program,” she said.
“Court Link aims to reduce the volume of people on remand by providing case management and referrals to support a successful bail application and ongoing bail compliance.
“This budget will also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of prosecution services by increasing the funding for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions by $42.8 million over four years.”
Mrs D’Ath said the budget also included significantly increased funding for child protection litigation services, Queensland Family and Child Commission initiatives, the establishment of the new and independent child death review panel, and the Childrens Court.
“The safety of Queenslanders – young and old – has always, and will always be, a priority,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“A new and independent child death review panel will be established using additional funding of $2.5 million over four years.This forms part of the Government’s total package to deliver on our commitment to develop a new, independent model for reviewing the deaths of children known to the child protection system.
“The Government is providing increased funding of $13.5 million in 2019-20 for child protection litigation services.
“We are also investing an extra $2.3 million over two years to continue an additional specialist Childrens Court magistrate, support staff, security and legal advocates to increase cases heard in the Childrens Court. This will reduce the number of children on remand waiting to face court.”
Mrs D’Ath said the Budget also provides additional funding of $27 million over five years for the Office of the Public Guardian to deliver protection to children in care and vulnerable adults.
“We will also continue to support victims of crime, with $15.3 million in funding over four years for financial assistance and to assist with the processing of claims,” she said.