Page 2927 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 13 August 2013
simply not the case to assert that our court is overloaded. It is not overloaded. The number of matters per judge is the lowest of almost every other jurisdiction in the country. The only jurisdiction that has a lower workload than our court is the Northern Territory.
This highlights that we do not have a higher workload per judge compared to other jurisdictions; therefore the government continues to support the court in improving its efficiency and the way it manages its workload. The government has introduced a new docket system into the court and has provided funding for that. It has provided funding for the blitz of outstanding cases. It has provided funding to deal with improvements to IT systems. It has reformed the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Magistrates Court. It has undertaken a range of measures to ensure the court can restructure the way it manages its workload.
We will continue to do that in cooperation with the courts to improve efficiency, to improve case management and to improve more timely access to justice, and we will do that in a way we believe will be much more effective in terms of the overall performance of the courts.
I note that Mr Hanson in his comments referred to the evidence given by the Victims of Crime Commissioner about delays and the impact of delays on victims of crime. These matters are well worth reflecting upon, and the Victims of Crime Commissioner is quite right to raise them. I draw Mr Hanson’s attention to an article by the Victims of Crime Commissioner published in the Canberra Times on 2 August this year. He said:
The appointment of a fifth judge to the ACT Supreme Court is not the silver bullet that many seem to believe will address delays in our Supreme Court, which has the biggest backlog of any supreme court in Australia.
There are other steps that need to be taken first to address listing practices and procedural issues that contribute to delay. Unless these underlying issues are addressed, a fifth judge is unlikely to produce long-term change
I welcome the comments of the Victims of Crime Commissioner in this respect. He sees the direct impact of delay on victims of crime, but he recognises that procedural reform and case management reform are essential if victims of crime are to get justice.
This budget continues a strong Labor government record of improving access to justice, strengthening our emergency services and keeping our city safe. I commend the budget to the Assembly.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (8.16): The 2013-14 budget provides resources of over $50 million for the Corrective Services output. This funding will enable ACT Corrective Services to continue to deliver its important role of delivering safe and secure custody for detainees with a strong focus on rehabilitative, educational and vocational programs. Those resources also enable Corrective Services to