Miles Government Extends Support For Victims Of Crime

  • Miles Government provides targeted supports to victims of crime across Queensland
  • Government budgets almost $16 million to expand Victims of Crime Community Response
  • More than $15 million will ensure timely payment of financial assistance to victims of crime
  • Almost $3 million to support Office of the Victims’ Commissioner

The Miles Labor Government is focused on providing targeted support to improve supports for victims of crime.

Just over $45 million in funding was committed under a targeted victims support package to help vulnerable Queenslanders through what can be a traumatising and distressing time.

Almost $16 million will see the dedicated Victims of Crime Community Response program continued and expanded. That includes continued after-hours delivery, support brokerage and community recovery engagement.

The Victims of Crime Community Response was established in December 2023 to trial an immediate support response to meet the urgent needs of victims of crime, their families, and their communities following a serious, violent crime.

The response initiative has been delivered 24/7 in partnership with Victim Connect – delivering outreach, referrals and brokerage services for basic necessities in the immediate period following a violent crime.

While earmarked for trial in Cairns, Townsville and Logan, the team stood up at Redbank Plains shopping centre following the tragic death of 70-year-old Vyleen White. In that time, the team engaged with more than 2,000 people.

Victim Assist Queensland will also receive an increase of $15.57 million to ensure the timely delivery of financial assistance to victims of crime.

Applications for financial assistance to Victim Assist Queensland have increased significantly, largely driven by reforms to payment thresholds and eligibility, as well as increased awareness. Victim Assist Queensland has also introduced new online financial assistance application forms to make the service more accessible.

This funding is essential to ensure Victim Assist Queensland has the staff and resources to meet the ongoing demand, ensuring that victims of violent crime – including domestic and family violence – can access funds for the support and services they need to help them recover.

Funding has been allocated to secure and support the functions of the permanent Victims’ Commissioner. A recruitment process to appoint the inaugural permanent Victims’ Commissioner is currently underway, and Mr Jon Rouse APM has served as the interim Victims’ Commissioner since September 2023.

The Victims’ Commissioner was established to champion the rights of victims and provide a platform for their voices to be heard within the criminal justice system, as well as to address systemic issues impacting their welfare.

The Office of the Victims’ Commissioner will receive $2.97 million to support its operations.

In addition, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will receive $3.78 million to support the functions of the Sexual Violence Review Board.

The Independent Ministerial Advisory Council will receive $5.75 million over two years to remunerate its members and support their work.

Quotes attributable to the Premier Steven Miles:

“For every crime, there is a victim, a family and a community left in need of support.

“More must be done to support these vulnerable victims – that’s the message I have heard loud and clear from Queenslanders right around the state.

“It’s why I am taking action and investing in the supports that work.

“This $45 million package will make immediate and ongoing emotional, financial and community support for victims of crime more accessible.

“It’s because of the advocacy of those who courageously share their stories that we can invest in improving the system for all victims.”

Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath:

“We are listening to victim-survivors and victim advocates and taking action.

“Victims and their advocates have made it clear that timely financial and material support is critical to their recovery, to mitigate serious financial hardship and to reduce the risk of re-victimisation.

“It’s why we have committed nearly $16 million to expand the Victims of Crime Community Response, so that individuals and communities can access support in the immediate period after a crime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“We’ve given Victim Assist Queensland the additional resources they need to process applications for financial support faster, so that victims can access the services and support they need to recover.

“And we’ve ensured that the Office of the Victims’ Commissioner and the Independent Ministerial Advisory Council are sufficiently resourced to promote the rights and needs of victims of crime.

“The Miles Labor Government will leave no Queenslander behind in our pursuit to ensure our communities are safe and are well supported through difficult times.”

Quotes attributable to Interim Victim’s Commissioner Jon Rouse APM:

“Since September 2023, when this role was created, I have met with dedicated and passionate people across the state who work with some of our most vulnerable Queenslanders – victim-survivors and their families.

“After significant engagement with both the sector and victims themselves, I have heard that victims continue to find it difficult to access information. Our work to date has been focused on promoting the rights of victims and better supporting those in need with accessible resources.

“This extra financial support will enable the important work of my office to continue and grow once a permanent Victims’ Commissioner is appointed.

“Importantly the funding will positively impact our work in promoting and supporting the rights of victims in our community.

“It is encouraging to hear that additional funding for several initiatives will help provide better access to support to meet the immediate and longer-term needs of victim-survivors and their families.”

Quotes attributable to Protect All Children Today (PACT) CEO Chris McCarthy:

“PACT and our network of community volunteers have, for almost 40 years, been working with victims of crime and knows firsthand that the impact of crime lingers long after the original offence.

“This increased investment of funds into the sector will allow for victim-centric organisations like PACT to continue to provide and improve support for victims as they engage with the complex and often distressing justice process.

“PACT welcomes the announcement of increased investment into support for victims of crime. These funds are vital to ensure timely and appropriate support for Queensland victims of crime and recognises the important work already being done by many in the sector to help minimise the ongoing impact of crime against too many people within our community.

“PACT believes that this investment will have a positive impact on victims of crime helping to assist them in recovering costs and in accessing vital services where previously so many support agencies have been overloaded and unable to provide timely support.”

Quotes attributable to Australian Red Cross Queensland State Director Garry Page:

“In times of crisis and traumatic events, Australian Red Cross stands ready to support impacted people and communities.

“Seeking help soon after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event can significantly improve one’s recovery in the short, medium, and long term.

“Australian Red Cross works alongside it’s government and local agency partners in times of need and welcomes all support towards the recovery of people and communities who have been impacted by traumatic and distressing events.”

/Public Release. View in full here.