Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 13 October 2022) . . Page.. 3116 ..
This government may not care about transparency and upholding human rights, but I do. I will continue to fight for increased resourcing for the Office of the Inspector of Correctional Services. I thank them for the extremely important services that they provide in such a difficult area. It is not easy to hold this government to account, and it is even harder to do so when this government gives you more responsibility with one hand and throttles your funding with the other.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our hardworking ACT Corrective Services staff. Their efforts are often unappreciated, overlooked and misunderstood. I want them to know that I appreciate them, and that their welfare is high on my list of priorities. It takes people of great integrity and empathy, and with a thick skin, to enter a career in this field, and they all deserve fitting reward and recognition for their efforts.
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (6.08): In my capacity as Minister for Human Rights, I am pleased to speak in support of this budget, which continues to fulfil our responsibility to protect and promote our fundamental human rights in the ACT. There are three key initiatives I will speak briefly to.
Firstly, the budget provides over $3 million over four years to establish the independent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People Commissioner, in line with the recommendations of the Our Booris, Our Way report and a co-design process that has been undertaken with the community. As members know, in the last sitting I introduced legislation for the establishment of the commissioner, and I am pleased that through this budget we are making the investments needed to ensure that the commissioner can get to work and undertake the role that has been called for by the community.
This budget also provides $1.773 million over four years in additional resourcing for Victim Support ACT to take on the administration of the three victims registers: the adult register, the youth justice register and the affected persons register. These three victims registers have previously been delivered by three different agencies: Corrective Services, CSD and ACAT. The relocation of the three victims registers to within Victim Support, with resourcing for new positions to administer them, facilitates a centralised and more victim-focused approach.
Victim Support ACT will act as a central point to better facilitate the provision of information and support to victims of crime. The relocation will further facilitate victim access to broader wraparound Victim Support services, including case coordination, safety planning, counselling and financial assistance, as well as specialist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse services.
This budget also provides over $270,000 in additional funding to the ACT Human Rights Commission over two years, addressing an increasing number of complaints received by the commission. This supports Canberrans to use the Human Rights Commission’s complaint process to seek remedy. This initiative builds on recent government efforts to strengthen the capacity of the Human Rights Commission,