March 28, 2018  |  

Justice Legislation Amendment (Access to Justice) Bill 2018

Ms HUTCHINS (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) (17:22:17) — I rise to speak against the motion that has been put and to say that the agenda that is before us at the moment in regard to the second-reading speech and proceeding forthwith with the Justice Legislation Amendment (Access to Justice) Bill 2018 relates to one of the most important bills coming to this house this afternoon. Of course there are many others, and we know that those on the other side are just trying to filibuster so that we cannot get on to the very important issues of fulfilling the recommendations that have come from the Access to Justice Review — the many extremely important changes and proposals that have been incorporated through the implementation of the 16 recommendations from the review — and all of the amendments that are proposed that will put that into place and support the changes that need to happen.

This includes recommendations such as improving accountability, increasing transparency through robust reporting requirements and greater coordination of legal aid and legal access. These are some of the most vulnerable people in the system that we are talking about with this legislation here today. What it will also do is achieve better collaboration through the establishment of a planning committee and a plan to make available to the public on Victoria Legal Aid’s website more information to make things, as it says, more accessible and improve accessibility to justice.

I find it appalling that those opposite want to stand in the way of us getting on to this very important business and instead pull political stunts yet again to hold up the process of this Parliament to make sure that we cannot get on to genuine debate in a timely manner when we need to strengthen access to justice through this legislation. I think that all of those on this side of the house are committed to making sure that we get this bill through, that we get this bill debated as soon as possible, that we stop filibustering and that we get on with the job that we have been elected to do.