The Tasmanian Government is committed to delivering a more efficient and effective justice system for all Tasmanians.
Given the critical role the legal assistance sector plays in supporting Tasmanians in need, we are providing $2.6 million over four years to help the sector support more Tasmanians, building on the $614,000 we provided the sector earlier in the year. This funding will provide much-needed certainty, and maintain core service levels under the Australian Government National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020‑25.
This year’s State Budget also commits $2.3 million over four years to Tasmania Legal Aid’s Serious Cases Fund to support its work in reducing the backlog of complex criminal cases before the Supreme Court.
I am also pleased to announce that $1.8 million over two years is being committed for video-conferencing and recording equipment for our courts. This capital funding will provide new or replacement video-conferencing and recording equipment in Tasmania’s Magistrates and Supreme Court facilities as well as the Tasmania Prison Service.
New fixed video-conferencing equipment will be installed in the Magistrates Court and the Supreme Court’s existing video-conference capable court rooms will be upgraded. Additional video-conferencing facilities will also be provided at Risdon Prison. Learning from what we were able to do during the height of COVID-19, this technology will improve access to justice for Tasmanians and reduce the need to transport prisoners and remandees to and from court where appropriate.
Our Government is also bolstering the Department of Public Prosecution’s recurrent budget by $750,000 a year ($3 million over four years) to help address workload pressures. This is in addition to the $2.7 million we provided to the DPP over four years in the 2019-20 State Budget.
We are getting on with the job of improving access to justice for all Tasmanians, and this is strongly reflected in the significant support being provided in this Budget.
Elise Archer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice