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 ​Record investment in justice in NSW budget​

Issued: Tuesday, 21 June 2016​​

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The Justice Cluster will spend a record $8.1 billion in 2016-17 delivering services and implementing key reforms to help reduce reoffending, ease pressure on courts, provide more beds for inmates and deliver high-tech policing.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant, Attorney General Gabrielle Upton and Minister for Corrections David Elliott said the Budget would pave the way for  justice reform and innovation.

"This Budget is a win for community safety, providing funding for innovative programs to ensure offenders - particularly those who have committed domestic violence - are brought to justice and take part in rehabilitation," Mr Grant said.

The Budget allocates $570 million over four years to support comprehensive reform of the justice system, including measures to ease pressure on courts and to reduce reoffending, in line with the NSW Premier's priority to reduce adult reoffending by five percentage points by 2019.

The Budget includes $44 million over four years to help achieve the NSW Premier's target of reducing domestic violence by five percentage points by 2019. This will include GPS tracking of high-risk offenders, behaviour change programs for higher-risk perpetrators and the establishment of the NSW Police Domestic Violence High Risk Offender Teams across the state.

It dedicates $57 million for new or upgraded police stations including Mount Druitt, Queanbeyan, Gunnedah, Bay and Basin, Moss Vale, Deniliquin, Lake Macquarie Local Area Command, Liverpool, Riverstone, Tweed Heads, Walgett, and Coffs Harbour. Security upgrades will also be made to a number of stations from this funding.

The Budget includes $36 million to continue the implementation of the $100 million, four-year Policing for Tomorrow Technology Fund. This includes the rollout of body worn video cameras to record incidents or events to help support investigations, hand-held narcotic analysers for fast and accurate results in testing for multiple drugs, and mobile tablet computers and fingerprint scanners. 

The Government will invest $13 million in increasing the NSW Police Force's aerial surveillance capability, including the purchase of a new fixed-wing aircraft (PolAir 8) and the replacement of two ageing aircraft (PolAir 2 and PolAir 6). This will give police additional capacity to prevent and respond to terrorism and serious and organised crime and conduct emergency management operations.

There is also $4 million to start a $15 million development of new Dog Unit command facilities in Western Sydney.

Mr Elliott said the budget includes $3.8 billion over four years to increase the state's prison capacity by about 7,000 beds, including 620 at Cessnock, 160 at South Coast and 75 at Berrima Correctional Centre.

"We are providing a long-term solution that will ensure our prison system is equipped to deal with future challenges as the NSW population increases," Mr Elliott said.

The Government will provide $39 million over the next two years to reduce the backlog of District Court criminal cases, which will include the appointment of three new District Court judges and two new public defenders, and extra sittings in regional areas.

"This funding is in addition to the $20 million District Court support package announced last year and demonstrates the government's strong commitment to ensuring justice is fast, fair and accessible across NSW," Ms Upton said.

More than $5 million will be invested in court security as part of the NSW Government's counter-terrorism response, with 40 additional Sheriff's Officers positions to be extended for another 12 months.

The Budget also provides $1 million to develop a business case for a multi-agency operations facility to support coordination during emergency and counter-disaster response.