Western Australia Attorney General Christian Porter
State Budget 2010-11: $7.9 Million Commitment To Fulfil Coronial Recommendations
Victor P Taffa
The State Government has committed a total of $7.9 Million over five years to implement the remaining recommendations from the coronial inquiry into the tragic death of Mr. Ward.
Attorney General and Corrective Services Minister Christian Porter said four agencies, including the Department of the Attorney General (DotAG), Department of Corrective Services (DCS), Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services (OICS) and the WA Police (WAPOL) would be provided with the additional funding.
“DotAG will receive $800,000 to improve training of Justices of the Peace performing judicial functions in regional and remote areas.” Mr. Porter said.
“This is in line with Recommendation 5 of the Coroner’s report.”
“DCS has also been allocated a further $2.1 Million over five years to strengthen the monitoring capacity in regard to prisoner transport in line with Recommendation 12 of the Coroner’s report.”
“This will result in the appointment of four additional monitors to undertake the ongoing auditing and review of the prisoner transport system in regional and metropolitan areas.” Mr. Porter said.
The Minister said beyond this the replacement of the entire secure vehicle fleet was on schedule for completion by December 2010.
OICS would also be provided $2.5 Million over four years to resource enhanced powers to audit the passage of persons through the custodial system.
“This step is above and beyond the Coroner’s recommendations and is a measure the Government has funded to ensure prisoners are treated safely and humanely at each stage of their contact with the criminal justice system.” Mr. Porter said.
WAPOL will also receive $2.5 Million over two years to put a security vehicle conversion program in place for regional transport vehicles.
“The Coronial inquest into the tragic death of Mr. Ward resulted in 14 recommendations and, while many of these could be implemented within existing resources, further funding was also necessary.” the Minister said.
“With the above Budget allocations the Government has not only accepted, but is now implementing, every one of the recommendations with the aim of improving our criminal justice system into the future.”