ACT budget initiatives relevant to the legal sector

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

ACT budget initiatives relevant to the legal sector

The ACT Budget was delivered by the Treasurer on 6 October 2021. For the interest of members, the Law Society has produced a summary of budget initiatives of relevance to the legal sector.

Note in the below tables that 'Total Funding' represents total funding before offsets, whereas 'Total Cost' incorporates offsets by default over the period for individual initiatives (where relevant and unless noted otherwise for sake of clarity).

ACT Policing

Measure

Total Funding for 21/22
($'000)

Total Cost for Initiatives
($'000)

Generally increased total funding for Policing.

192,981 (a 7% increase on previous interim outcome)

 

Additional funding for expanded enabling services provided by the Australian Federal Police for ACT Policing.

 

11,092 (over four years)

Replacement of ACT Policing’s radio core communication system along with providing ongoing maintenance support for the new system.

 

6,637 (over four years)

ACT Corrective Services

Measure

Total Funding for 21/22
($'000)

Total Cost for Initiatives
($'000)

Generally increased total funding for Corrective Services.

97,750 (a 19% increase on previous interim outcome)

 

Reintegration and wellbeing initiatives to enhance services and support available to detainees at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC), including infrastructure upgrades.

7,509

16,983 (over four years)

Continued support for the Intensive Corrections Order (ICO) scheme,

including funding for eight full-time equivalent positions as well as to cover the cost of weekly drug tests for offenders.

2,006

8,213 (over four years)

Safety upgrades at Bimberi Youth Justice Centre

225

918 (over four years)

Vulnerable persons

Measure

Total Funding for 21/22
($'000)

Total Cost for Initiatives
($'000)

Generally increased total funding for protection of rights.

14,144 (a 33% increase on previous interim outcome)

 

Further development of the Child and Youth Record Information System

1,557

6,488 (over four years)

More support for victims of crime to strengthen counselling and financial assistance programs offered to eligible victims of crime

1,739

7,165 (over four years)

Funding to continue the ACT Intermediary Program for vulnerable witnesses.

1,545

3,475 (over two years, offset to -35 over the period)

Increased funding for the Human Rights Commission.

119

1,031 (over four years)

ACT Courts and Tribunals

Measure

Total Funding for 21/22
($'000)

Total Cost for Initiatives
($'000)

Generally increased total funding for the ACT Courts and Tribunals

59,425 (a 19% increase on previous interim outcome)

 

Upgrading the Courts facilities and improving security with the installation of new cameras and an extended perimeter fence.

350

 

Improved ACAT facilities and infrastructure including specialised recording, transcription and audio-visual equipment to the tribunal’s 15 hearing rooms.

5,976

 

Establishment of a dedicated coroners function, including funding for a Special Magistrate and additionally funding for the DPP and Legal Aid.

1,043 (JACS)

92 (Legal Aid ACT)

3,752 (over four years)

More support for the Drug and Alcohol Court.

6,630

10,146 (over four years)

Upgrade of the Galambany Circle Sentencing court room, including providing a round table and technology capability in line with all other court rooms.

714

 

Support to the ACT Supreme Court for criminal case conferencing. This measure will also support Legal Aid ACT to participate in criminal case conferencing.

143 (JACS)

100 (Legal Aid ACT)

 

Community Legal Services/Legal Aid

Measure

Total Funding for 21/22
($'000)

Total Cost for Initiatives
($'000)

Generally increased total funding for Legal Aid.

16443 (a 14% increase on previous interim outcome)

 

Funding to community-based organisations operating in the legal assistance sector, including the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT, Canberra Community Law, CARE Inc and the Environmental Defenders Office.

1,199

2,018 (over four years)

Legislative Agenda and Government Legal Services

Measure

Total Funding for 21/22
($'000)

Total Cost for Initiatives
($'000)

Revising the Children and Young People Act 2008 to ensure a quality legislative framework for the ACT's child protection and family support system.

597

1,975 (over three years)

Reforming the minimum age of criminal responsibility.

459

795 (over two years)

Expanded capacity of the ACT Government Solicitor and the Legislation, Policy and Programs Division of the Justice and Community Safety Directorate.

2,122

7,279 (over four years)

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