A MAJORITY LIBERAL GOVERNMENT WILL:
Invest a further $15.3 million over four years to help keep Tasmanians safe, including:
- Providing additional funding to the Legal Assistance Sector of $2.2 million per year, for four years, on top of the funding already committed under the National Legal Assistance Partnership, to continue to provide free or low-cost legal services to Tasmanians who need the extra help.
- Providing almost $2.5 million to reduce reoffending and increase rehabilitation in Tasmania through new partnerships to deliver increased therapeutic support and programs in prison.
- Provide access to legal representation for children and young people in the North and North West who are appearing in courts after-hours.
- Strengthen non-fatal strangulation laws.
- Guarantee prison time for serious child sex offenders and assaults on front line workers that Labor and the Greens have shamefully rejected.
- Provide $1.3 million in new funding to introduce body scanning technology in the Hobart and Launceston Reception Prisons, and Risdon Prison, to minimise personal searches and stop potentially harmful items such as drugs and weapons from entering the prison.
- Deliver $2.4 million over two years to continue Tasmania’s electronic monitoring of high-risk family violence perpetrators, with a trial demonstrating increased safety to victims, an 82 per cent reduction in high risk incidents, and increased accountability from perpetrators.
The Tasmanian Liberals have a strong record in government in keeping Tasmanians safe, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Strengthening our laws to keep Tasmanians safe.
- Increasing the number of correctional officers in our prisons.
- Building new prison infrastructure.
- Implemented alternative sentencing options, including home detention and electronic monitoring, and expanded the Court-Mandated Diversion Program.
Additional funding to the Legal Assistance Sector of $2.2 million per year, for four years, on top of the funding already committed under the National Legal Assistance Partnership, to continue to provide free or low-cost legal services to Tasmanians who need the extra help
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will continue to support Tasmania’s legal assistance sector with additional funding and will work with the sector to identify the greatest need.
This funding will support organisations including –
- Tasmanian Legal Aid
- Women’s Legal Services Tasmania
- Hobart Community Legal Centre
- Launceston Community Legal Centre
- North-West Community Legal Centre
- Tenants Union
- Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service
- Prisoners Legal Service
During the pandemic, the Legal Assistance Sector in Tasmania saw demand for their services increase.
It is the Liberals in Government who have provided record state funding to help Tasmanians in need navigate the justice system, and this new funding will allow the sector to continue to provide free or low-cost legal services to Tasmanians who need it.
It will also provide the sector with much-needed certainty going forward.
The 2020-21 State Budget also commits $2.3 million over four years to Tasmania Legal Aid’s Serious Cases Fund to support its work in reducing the backlog of complex criminal cases before the Supreme Court.
In addition, Tasmania’s Action Plan for Family and Sexual Violence 2019-2022 provided $800,000 over three years to provide additional legal assistance to people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing family violence, including:
- Funding of over $300,000 for Tasmania Legal Aid to employ an additional legal practitioner to specialise in family violence cases.
- Funding of over $500,000 for the Women’s Legal Service Tasmania to continue its Launceston-based service to provide legal assistance to women experiencing or at risk of experiencing family violence in the North and North-East of Tasmania.
Consultation on Tasmania’s third Family and Sexual Violence Action Plan will get underway by the end of this year.
Providing almost $2.5 million to reduce reoffending and increase rehabilitation in Tasmania through new partnerships to deliver increased therapeutic support and programs in prison
Access to programs, education and employment while in prison helps to address the underlying reasons why some people continue to commit crime.
These programs will maximise the chances of successful reintegration back into the community, keeping our community safer.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will partner with key organisations to deliver these increased therapeutic support and programs in prison, providing support to prisoners to help them rehabilitate and reintegrate when released.
Australian Red Cross Partnership
We will partner with the Australian Red Cross to deliver their Community Based Health First Aid (CBHFA) program at a cost of $780,000 over three years.
Already seeing success in other States, this program has seen a positive effect on prisoner behaviour and in reducing rates of reoffending.
Prisoners will train to become Special Status Red Cross Volunteers, which will empower them to improve the health, wellbeing and safety within the prison population.
We will partner with Connect 42 to deliver the Just Time Prison Parenting Program at a cost of $610,000 over three years. This program teaches parent-child attachment skills to prisoners and helps to break the cycle of offending.
Just Time supports rehabilitation that builds community safety by reducing rates of reoffending, whilst giving prisoners important skills to bond with their children.
Dress for Success Hobart
We will partner with Dress for Success Hobart to expand the Welcome Back(pack) initiative at a cost of $100,000 over three years.
This initiative supports women exiting prison by providing clothing, toiletries, and supports them to write job applications and prepare for job interviews. This program aims to build women’s confidence and resilience in looking for employment, post release.
It also incorporates workshops and one-on-one help to support women to obtain and retain employment.
Increased Therapeutic Staff within the Prison
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will also will increase the number of therapeutic employees within the prison.
An additional five new therapeutic staff will be recruited to provide drug and alcohol intervention and program delivery at a cost of $500,000 per annum for two years.
Provide access to legal representation for children and young people in the North and North West who are appearing in courts after-hours
In Hobart, young people appearing before after-hours courts are represented by a lawyer.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will provide funding for a lawyer to be rostered to appear for children and young people, appearing before after-hours court in Burnie, Devonport and Launceston.
We will work with our legal assistance sector to identify the best way to deliver this service at a cost of $80,000 per year.
Strengthen non-fatal strangulation laws
The Tasmanian Liberals recognise that non-fatal strangulation, choking or suffocation is a significant form of violence, which can often lead to more violent family violence behaviour.
Non-fatal strangulation, choking, or suffocation is never acceptable. The protection and safety of victims of family violence and their children is a priority for our Government.
That why a re-elected Majority Liberal Government will move to strengthen our laws, based on the receipt of final advice from Tasmania’s independent Sentencing Advisory Council, who is currently reviewing this issue.
The Tasmanian Liberals will ensure our laws are strong and robust to protect victim survivors of family violence and ensure perpetrators are appropriately punished for the severity of their heinous crimes.
We have already removed barriers for victims of family violence by excluding fees for all documents related to proceedings under the Family Violence Act.
The Liberals have also strengthened our laws to protect family violence victims including:
- Creating a new offence of persistent family violence.
- Expanding the definition of family violence to include property damage.
- Extending the time limit in which proceedings for offences of economic abuse or emotional abuse or intimidation can be commenced.
- Extending the powers of Police to deal with family violence offenders.
- Providing the court the power to remand or impose conditions on a person pending the outcome of a Family Violence Ordre.
- Allowed family violence offences to be recorded on a person’s record of prior convictions.
Re-introduce legislation to guarantee prison time for serious child sex offenders and those who assault front line workers
We will again introduce strong mandatory minimum imprisonment penalties for serious sexual offences against children.
Sexual offences against children are heinous and the community rightfully expects that anyone who commits serious sexual offences against children should go to jail.
The Tasmanian Liberals want to see appropriate justice served for survivors of child sexual abuse.
Assaults on frontline workers are completely unacceptable and we will reintroduce legislation ensuring anyone who commits an offence resulting in serious bodily harm to a frontline worker will receive a mandatory minimum sentence of six months in jail.
Our record in Government
- War on ice taking drugs off our streets – 86% increase in volume of seizures over last five years.
- 172 extra police officers on our streets (after Labor sacked 108 officers)
- Building new $365 million new prison infrastructure.
- Nation-leading presumptive PTSD legislation for frontline workers.
- Abolished remissions (early release of prisoners)
- More than 200 Correctional Officers have been employed.
- Put a victim of crime representative on the Parole Board.
- Put a person with policing experience on the Parole Board.
- New dangerous criminals and high-risk offenders laws to deal with serious offenders.
- Amended Section 194K of the Evidence Act to provide victims of sexual assault the right to speak out publicly should they wish to do so.
- Legislated to address one-punch incidents.
- Introduced numerous criminal and civil reforms as a result of our commitment to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.
- Banned the wearing of insignias of Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs.
Labor – Green record:
- Shamefully blocked attempts for mandatory jail time for serious child sex offenders.
- Oppose building the new Northern Prison and 1000 jobs it will deliver.
The cost of this policy is $15.3 million over four years.