Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Specialist Family Violence Courts

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:25): My question is to the Attorney-General. Recommendation 60 of the royal commission handed down over five years ago recommended a specialist family violence court at each headquarter court. Geelong is one of these. In 2019 I walked through the then newly completed specialist family violence court within the Ballarat Magistrates Court. It featured separate doors for victims to enter, specially trained staff to deal with this area and a raft of other measures to streamline these cases and ensure complainants’ safety and welfare. I recently met with the Barwon Area Integrated Family Violence Committee, and they were wondering when Geelong will get its upgrades. The government website says recommendation 60 should be implemented by 31 July 2021. As yet, no works seem to be underway. Attorney, when will we see Geelong Magistrates Court upgraded to feature a specialist family violence court?

Thank you, Attorney. I look forward to the time line for that specialist family violence court coming out. Geelong is one of the top areas for family violence in the state, and frustratingly the numbers have only become worse since the royal commission, despite the federal and state governments spending billions on addressing this area. I read in a motion this week about the role of children in family violence situations, and I think that these specialist courts will go some way to making courts more family friendly for when children have no choice but to attend. However, I do not think that this is enough to reduce the trauma that children experience from family violence incidents. Given the specialist family violence courts are not built yet, specifically in Geelong, and they have no finish date, what measures is the government taking in Geelong to make our justice system more family friendly or more appropriate for our children?


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