Victim assistance application wait times more than halved

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
  • The average wait time for new applications to be decided has fallen by 60% since 2021-22
  • Urgent application average wait times have halved in 2023-24 compared to the previous 12 months

Application wait times for victim assistance have more than halved in almost three years as the Miles Government continues to listen and support victims of crime.

The average wait time for new application decisions by Victim Assist Queensland (VAQ) reduced by 60 per cent to 5.5 months when compared to wait times in 2021-22 (14.5 months).

While more complex cases can take up to 12 months, VAQ has improved the average wait time by streamlining assessment processes, engaging additional staff and improving systems.

This includes trialling faster payments for eligible primary victims while a full assessment is conducted.

Analysis of VAQ applications lodged in the 2022-23 financial year, and this financial year to date, shows there has been a reduction in wait times.

This financial year, urgent applications have taken an average of 24 days to decide, about half of what it did compared to the previous 12 months (49 days).

VAQ prioritises urgent medical treatment, funeral expenses, security and relocation expenses for domestic and family violence victims referred by High Risk Teams.

The average wait time between VAQ receiving an application and processing a payment to a relative of a homicide victim was 38 days in 2023-24 compared to 54 days in 2022-23.

The average wait time for payments to primary victims – which make up a majority of VAQ’s applications – was 71 days this financial year, compared to 122 days for the previous 12 months.

Average wait time for a witness secondary victim (123 days) have halved compared to 2022-23 (239 days) while the time for payment to parent secondary victims reduced from an average of 174 days in 2022-23 to 132 days in 2023-24.

Late last year the government increased the amount of financial assistance available to victims – including those impacted by domestic and family violence.

The government also announced a $200m package to boost victim support services, increased financial assistance to victims of crime as well as additional VAQ Staff to ensure applications are processed as soon as possible.

Please attribute to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath:

“The Miles Labor Government will always listen to victims and their advocates and will continue to review and improve services to further support them.

“We’ve passed new laws to strengthen victims supports and have introduced legislation to establish a permanent Victims’ Commissioner – a voice for victims and a single source of information and support.

“Victim support is at risk of being gutted under an LNP government, just as it was in the 2014-15 budget when they cut almost $323,000 from Victim Assist Queensland.

“Under the LNP $259 million was cut from community sector organisations, including Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence and Child Safety services – many of which provide support to victims.

“The Miles Government has no hesitation when investing in the safety of Queenslanders – which is why in 2017 we extended assistance to all forms of domestic and family violence.

“While we saw an increase in applications, Victim Assist Queensland has worked hard to reduce wait times by streamlining assessment processes, engaging additional staff, and improving systems.

“These efficiencies have enabled the wait times to be more than halved this financial year, compared to 2021-22, and I commend VAQ for their ongoing efforts to support all victims and their families in their time of need.”

“Despite the high numbers of applications to VAQ, it is committed to ensuring that application decisions are swiftly processed.”

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