Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:03): My question is for the Minister for Training and Skills, representing the Minister for Victim Support in the other place. The final report Improving Victims’ Experience of Summary Proceedings was tabled in Parliament on 16 November 2021. Recommendations 1 and 2 of the report talk about how agencies involved in summary proceedings should provide accessible co-designed information resources to victims of crime. Further, these resources should be made available in a single place. Recommendation 3 of the report expands on this, saying that agencies involved in summary proceedings should consider improving existing IT systems or developing new systems to allow easier communication of court dates, progress of matters and court outcomes to victims about the case relevant to them. The report suggests that this might be through the establishment of a victims portal that would link support services to Victoria Police and court information relevant to the victim. Can the minister provide a time line for the implementation of this victims portal?
Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:05): Thanks, Minister. Appendix C of the same report gives data from an Engage Victoria survey about victims’ experience with summary proceedings. The results point to low levels of compliance by prosecuting agencies with the requirements of the Victims’ Charter Act. Here 63 per cent of respondents said they did not get the opportunity to prepare a victim impact statement. The Office of Public Prosecutions, which handles part of the summary proceedings case load, reports a high level of compliance with the Victims’ Charter Act. In summary proceedings Victoria Police, however, are often the prosecuting agency, and it would seem that Victoria Police may be the source of the poor victims experience, as evidenced in the report. A system to better coordinate victim case management is clearly needed. In November 2020 the Centre for Innovative Justice, in its review of victims services, suggested that Victoria Police look at adopting both an integrated case management system and a portal for victims of crime. Minister, will you advocate to the Minister for Police so that Victoria Police can take steps to adopt an integrated victim response system such as the OPP system to better manage victims’ experience with summary judicial proceedings?