At a time when our justice system is in crisis with unprecedented court backlogs, delaying justice for victims and accused alike, this week’s 2021-22 State Budget delivers savage cuts via “a base and efficiency review” for the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS).
While the Attorney-General and Acting Premier have been spruiking modest investments in the justice system in recent days, the reality is that Jaclyn Symes is giving with one hand and taking with the other.
The cuts amount to $321.8 million over the forward estimates (Budget Paper 3, p. 89, 99).
The only way such significant cuts can be achieved is by slashing services and frontline roles.
This comes at a time when the Fines Victoria fiasco, which has cost taxpayers $1 billion, continues and the Births Deaths and Marriages call centre remains closed impacting many vulnerable Victorians.
Attributable to Shadow Attorney-General Edward O’Donohue
The slashing of the justice system budget by Daniel Andrews and Labor can only mean one thing, the current crisis in our justice system will go from bad to worse.
With record court delays, justice system services failing to cope and an anticipated spike in demand for services, this is the worst possible time to cut funding for our justice system.
Since her appointment, the new Attorney-General has so far failed at every hurdle and Labor’s Budget is yet further evidence she isn’t up to the job.
Justice delayed is justice denied and Labor’s Budget will result in even worse delays and poorer services.