Page 2925 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 August 2015

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perhaps with the exception of parliaments. When funding the upgrade of the ACT court facilities we are building for the future, for the long term. The upgrade can be expected to outlive many of us present today and it is a privilege for me to be involved in this significant project.

The new ACT court facilities will be the first project in the territory to be delivered by way of a public-private partnership. The key benefits of the PPP approach include the government harnessing private sector efficiencies and innovation that can be created during construction, whole-of-life efficiencies, outcome-focused service delivery and an effective risk transfer to the private sector. The early works package, as provided for in this budget, is expected to commence in the final quarter of 2015 following an announcement of the preferred bidder for the ACT courts project. The appropriation will fund a temporary accommodation strategy to allow the courts to continue to operate during the two-year construction period as well as deliver critical audio visual, ICT and security early works.

Part of my mandate as attorney is, of course, to protect the most vulnerable in our community and this budget continues to deliver on that mandate by investing for vulnerable people in our community, including victims of crime. The government is providing $1.566 million over four years to establish an administratively based victims of crime financial assistance scheme. The scheme has been developed working closely with the Victims of Crime Commissioner and other key stakeholders to provide a system that will compensate a broader group of people and be more appropriate to the needs of victims than the current court-based system.

The funding for the high density housing program works to reduce crime and facilitate access to justice, health, education and employment for residents living in high density public housing. The program is about unlocking the individual’s potential, unblocking systemic barriers to reduce their contact with the criminal justice system, increase community safety in their neighbourhoods and build community connectedness and social capital. Recognising the important role of the program as a practical example of justice reinvestment in action the government has provided $366,000 over two years to continue this program.

Another service to receive funding is the street law early intervention outreach service run by Canberra Community Law. The budget provides $358,000 over two years to continue this service which provides legal assistance services to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Street law is important and significant as it has moved away from traditional modes of delivering legal assistance services and instead provides outreach services in places where its client group is found. Homelessness can be the result of legal problems and other complex intertwining issues such as family violence, and people who are homeless are more likely to encounter other legal problems. Street law is there to address these needs.

The budget also expands the current restorative justice scheme, as I have spoken about in question time this week. RJ has thrived for 10 years in the ACT and additional funding of $2.058 million over the next four years will allow the scheme to expand to include more serious offences for young people and to all offences for adults. For both young people and adults, participation in restorative justice will be

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