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NSW BUDGET SUPPORTS CHILD VICTIMS, FIGHTS CORRUPTION, AND INVESTS IN COURTS

Published date: Tuesday, 18 June 2019

[PDF version of this media release]

The 2019-20 NSW Budget will deliver the world’s first residential trauma centre for children impacted by homicide, a new unit to prosecute public officials engaging in misconduct and the largest ever upgrade of Queanbeyan Courthouse.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Attorney General Mark Speakman today announced the NSW Government will commit $18 million over two years to redevelop Queanbeyan Courthouse, which will sit alongside the new police station.

“Queanbeyan will have one of the finest justice precincts in regional Australia, designed to serve the community for generations to come,” Mr Speakman said.

“The project will include better court and tribunal rooms, more interview rooms for the legal profession, upgrades to private areas for victims and witnesses, and improvements to security.”

The design of the upgrade will commence by the end of the year, with construction expected to begin in 2020.

The 2019-20 NSW Budget is also providing $2.7 million to fund a team of senior lawyers to prosecute public officials for corruption. The Public Sector Prosecution Unit (PSPU) will sit within the Office of the Director of Prosecutions complementing the critical work of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

“Anyone who uses their privileged position to line their pockets at the expense of taxpayers must be held accountable,” Mr Speakman said.

Mr Perrottet said the PSPU will comprise a well-resourced team of experienced lawyers who will also make applications to confiscate, freeze and seize the assets of public officials, including politicians who break the law.

“Funding for this new unit will provide the resources needed to address these serious crimes committed against the people of NSW,” Mr Perrottet said.

The new unit will prosecute matters arising from ICAC Operations Jasper and Acacia as well as handling new referrals from ICAC.

Children traumatised by the killing of a loved one will for the first time have a dedicated residential centre to help them recover, thanks to a $3.3 million commitment from the NSW Government.

Grace’s Place, named in honour of Anita Cobby’s mother Grace Lynch, will be built at Doonside in Sydney’s west and managed by the Homicide Victims Support Group.

“No child should have to experience the unimaginable horror of losing a family member to homicide and Grace’s Place will give young people a safe environment to begin the journey towards recovery,” Mr Speakman said. The facility will house up to 12 children and their carers at any time as well as being used for other support services.