Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Victims of Crime – Funding for Psychological Reports

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:10): My question is to the Attorney-General. The principle of innocent until proven guilty rightly underpins our criminal justice system. If you are accused of or plead guilty to a serious crime, generally you will be able to obtain funding in advance for a psychological report from your representatives at legal aid. It is important to ensure that the principle of parsimony is achieved. On the other hand, victims of crime find it very difficult to have psych reports funded by community legal centres in advance to support Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal applications. This is important because VOCAT places significant weight on medical and psychological reports due to the need for the victim to prove that they have sustained some form of injury. The report is also necessary when the tribunal is considering the quantum of the award. Attorney, why is it easier for accused persons to obtain psychological reports in Victoria than for a victim of crime, who is usually in desperate need of assistance to help them recover from an injury caused by someone else’s criminal actions?

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:13): Thanks, Attorney. Just on my substantive question, a media release was put out a few weeks ago from the government titled ‘Supporting our courts to drive down COVID-19 backlogs’, and you mentioned before about making that process a lot quicker. It included the announcement of $55.3 million for Victoria Legal Aid, Victoria Police, the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP), Corrections Victoria and victim services. Justice delayed is justice denied, so we welcome any funding that will decrease the huge backlog in our courts. However, seeing the frequent injustices our legal system delivers, I cannot help but question that victim services will not be getting their fair share of this $55 million announcement. This links back to my substantive question, as there is always money going towards the alleged criminals, seemingly, rather than to the victims of crime. So my supplementary question is, therefore: Attorney, can you tell me how much of this $55.3 million announcement will be provided to the mentioned organisations, specifically those focused on victim services?


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