MS TIERNEY (Minister for Corrections) — I rise to update the house on the Andrews government’s initiatives to further protect the Victorian community from violent and sexual offending. Recently I had the pleasure of officially opening the Catalyst Consortium at Swinburne University of Technology, which is conducting world-leading research into serious violent and sexual offending. With $1.6 million from the Andrews Labor government, Catalyst will improve our understanding of what causes repeat violent and sexual offending to help authorities better manage offenders and ensure community safety.
When the most serious crimes hit the headlines they are often met with emotive responses. But as a government with community safety as a priority, we need to have a response that reduces the risk to the community from these kinds of crimes, a response that helps protect the community by assisting those offenders to avoid committing these kinds of crimes again, a response grounded in evidence and research that is about addressing and treating the causes of serious violent and sexual crime.
Forensic psychologists Professor James Ogloff, AM, director of the centre, and Professor Michael Daffern will lead a network of researchers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the United States at the centre. The consortium is part of Labor’s response to the Harper review. We have taken significant action over the last two years to provide stronger oversight and management of serious offenders. By improving our understanding of the causes of repeat violent and sexual offending we will contribute to creating safer communities.