MS TIERNEY (Minister for Corrections) (09:53:21) — I rise to inform the house that the new Post Sentence Authority, charged with overseeing many of Victoria’s most serious criminals, has officially started work. The independent authority with its inaugural chair, Judge Ian Gray, will assume the role that the Adult Parole Board of Victoria (APB) played previously, but expanded, to ensure the community is kept safe.
The Andrews Labor government is strengthening the state’s management of serious offenders through the Harper reforms. With the new Post Sentence Authority officially starting work last week the Andrews Labor government has now implemented 24 of the 35 recommendations made by Justice Harper. We will soon expand the scheme to include serious violent offenders, in line with Justice Harper’s recommendations, when we bring the final tranche of legislation to the house later this year.
These reforms are underpinned by $390 million of additional funding over successive budgets to implement every recommendation of the Harper review. This includes the building of two new secure facilities that will house serious sex and violent offenders subject to post-sentence orders. These are crucial changes that will keep Victorians safe, and the new authority will have additional powers to manage serious sexual and violent offenders. The commitment this government has made to the implementation of all of Justice Harper’s 35 recommendations highlights its dedication to comprehensive and evidence-based policy.
I take this opportunity to wish Judge Gray all the best in his chairing of the new authority. It is very difficult but ultimately very important work that will significantly assist in the ongoing safety of Victoria. I also take this opportunity to thank His Honour Peter Couzens, chair of the Adult Parole Board of Victoria and other members of the APB board, who have discharged their responsibilities admirably.