Australia’s largest state is set to inject $2 billion into its justice system so as to increase access to justice and further strengthen courts and frontline services.
The Perrottet government in NSW has handed down the 2022-23 budget, which will see $2 billion worth of investment into the state’s justice system.
Overall, NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman (pictured) said, the investment of $2 billion “will alleviate the stress for victims, their families and other vulnerable people who come into contact with our justice system”.
Key justice investments made in NSW’s 2022-23 budget include:
- $481.1 million for Legal Aid NSW, including support for CLCs;
- $18 million for expanded and upgraded AV facilities, including DV complainants and witnesses, in approximately 50 courts and tribunals;
- $13.8 million for three acting District Court judges to address pandemic-inspired backlogs;
- $13.4 million over four years to expand the Statewide Court and Community Liaison Services;
- $10 million over four years to trial bail advocacy and support services for First Nations young people and women in Newcastle and Sydney;
- $7.3 million over four years to support equal and genuine partnerships with First Nations communities;
- $6 million in recurrent expenditure over four years and $2 million in capital expenditure in 2022-23 only on court-appointed questioners to ensure domestic violence complaints are not directly questioned by self-represented defendants
- $5.5 million over four years to provide six full-time commissioners at the Industrial Relations Commission, including support staff and infrastructure;
- $3 million on the special commission of inquiry into LGBTIQ hate crimes; and
- $700,000 over two years to support the government’s legislative commitment to outlaw coercive control in current and former intimate partner relationships.
A-G Speakman said: “The NSW government’s $2 billion investment in our justice system will help modernise and increase access to justice in our state, particularly for those vulnerable members of our community, and support important legal reforms that are making a real difference to the citizens of New South Wales.”