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​Budget making justice faster and easier

Issued: Tuesday, 23 June 2015

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Making access to justice faster and easier by investing in courts and better supporting child sexual assault victims is the priority in this year's budget, NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton announced today.

The 2015-16 NSW Budget includes significant investment in building new and improving existing courts, expanding the use of technology in the justice system and giving more support to child sexual assault victims.

Ms Upton said the NSW Budget 2015-16 will make access to justice in NSW faster, fairer and easier.

"As the saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied. This budget will help ensure justice is not delayed and not denied. We are making access to justice in NSW faster and easier by improving our courts, embracing technology and better supporting child sexual assault victims," Ms Upton said.

Key 2015-16 Budget highlights include:

  • $31.8 million over four years towards construction of a new Coroner's Court in a joint project with NSW Health;
  • $22.8 million over four years to increase support for child sexual assault victims through the appointment of two specialist judges, provision of Children's Champions and the expanded use of pre-recorded evidence;
  • $20.6 million to complete the $90 million the new Newcastle Justice Precinct;
  • $11 million to complete the $17 million upgrade of the Wagga Wagga Courthouse;
  • $10 million to continue the $40 million Justice Audio Visual Link (AVL) Consolidation Project to make it easier to transport people in the justice system;
  • $3.5 million to complete the $9.2 million Justice Online project, to improve and expand the range and utilisation of online self-service access to justice applications and services.

Ms Upton added the budget will also mean more legal assistance for the most vulnerable members of the community.

"We know people who face disadvantage are more vulnerable and less able to respond to legal problems. Legal assistance is a crucial part in breaking cycles of disadvantage," Ms Upton said.

"At a time when the Commonwealth is sidestepping funding legal assistance, we are stepping up yet again.

"We are providing $227.4 million of grant funding to the Legal Aid Commission of NSW."