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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 13 August 2015) . . Page.. 2924 ..

I make no bones about it: this strategy is about reducing speeds across our city. We know that Canberra drivers do drive over the speed limit consistently and we know that speed is a direct causal factor in a significant number of motor vehicle accidents. I make no bones about it: if people get a fine it is because they sped, it is because they broke the law and it is because in doing those things they are putting themselves and others at risk. That is what I am interested in tackling. And that is why we put this strategy in place, because we believe this is the most effective set of tools available to us to improve road safety in the territory.

I am very pleased to commend this part of the budget to the Assembly because I think the investment in this area by the government will assist in improving road safety outcomes in the territory.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (7.53): I am very pleased to speak tonight on the Justice and Community Safety portfolio budget and in particular those areas which are my responsibility as Attorney-General: protecting the most vulnerable in our community, victims of crime and supporting our courts and improving access to justice. This budget, for me, is part of a continuum. As attorney I have worked consistently with our courts and key justice stakeholders to improve the administration of justice.

The initiatives in this budget support that continuing work with an additional $34.4 million over the next four years specifically to improve the administration of Canberra’s justice system. This includes significant investment in the ACT courts including almost $3.1 million in new funding over three years for a fifth resident judge of the Supreme Court. Whilst I stand by the comments I made previously and the assessments the government issued about the need or otherwise for a fifth judge it is now clear from the modelling undertaken between the government and the courts that by 1 July 2016 a fifth judge will be required, and that is when this budget makes provision for one.

It is taxpayers’ money of course that we are investing and it is important to have an evidence base for that investment. This has been provided by way of a model on workload developed jointly by the government and the courts when it comes to judicial resourcing in the Supreme Court.

It has also been important to see if other action could be taken to reduce waiting times in the Supreme Court rather than always, and in the first instance, reaching for the public purse. I am pleased the government has been able to support the courts to reduce wait times significantly over the past four years. The results are a credit to the management of the courts and I thank all who have been involved from the Chief Justice down. $241,000 is also provided in 2015-l6 for temporary judicial resourcing to ensure wait times continue to be reduced before the fifth judge is appointed.

This budget supports the courts by funding $14.197 million for the ACT courts facilities early works package. Because times have changed there are very few purely government or civic buildings. Court buildings are possibly the last civic buildings,

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