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Queensland Justice Icons turn two

This week Victim Assist Queensland (VAQ) joined Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) in celebrating two years in operation and some significant milestones.

Victim Assist Queensland

Since it was launched in December 2009 VAQ has helped close to 2000 victims of crime and their families recover financially and emotionally.

A departmental spokesperson said the program was a great success, granting more than $15 million in financial aid to victims of personal crime since it was launched on December 1, 2009.

The referral and financial services VAQ provides are a significant improvement on the old system of compensation, which required a conviction before victims of crime could apply for compensation through the court.

Victims sometimes had to wait years for compensation and also had to cover the medical and legal expenses associated with their claims.

Financial assistance given to victims goes towards various needs including funeral costs, medical treatment, loss of earnings and home security upgrades.

A departmental spokesperson said the new system meant assistance is available to a broader range of victims, with reduced waiting times and costs.

VAQ is also looking to expand its services with its major partner SupportLink, which is currently rolling out a three-year trial program through the Queensland Police Service.

SupportLink is a privately funded program which identifies and refers individuals and families to social support services such as Victim Assist.

For more information about support for victims of crime visit www.justice.qld.gov.au or call the Victims LinkUp information and referral line on 1300 546 587.

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)

QCAT has also made significant improvements to community justice services.

According to a departmental spokesperson the tribunal has played a significant role in ensuring Queenslanders get a fair go to resolve disputes as quickly, fairly and cheaply as possible.

 Since amalgamating 18 tribunals into a ‘one-stop shop’ for community justice, QCAT have received over 58,000 applications across a broad range of jurisdictions including debt recovery, rental disputes, building disputes and human rights matters such as guardianship for adults and child protection.

 A departmental spokesperson said QCAT is currently delivering a clearance rate of cases of over 100 per cent, which is largely due to a commitment to actively resolving disputes through alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation.

 QCAT assists parties to have a real say in their case and reach their own agreements so that the cost, time and stress that a hearing may involve can be avoided.

QCAT has appointed 22 new sessional members and reappointed 41 existing sessional members to the tribunal, bringing the total number of tribunal members and adjudicators to over 100.

Members include psychologists; social workers; real estate and construction specialists; general practitioners; a paediatrician; a pharmacist; a teacher, an economist; a neuropsychologist; and veterinarians.

For more information about QCAT services visit http://www.qcat.qld.gov.au or call 1300 753 228.

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Last reviewed
2 December 2011
Last updated
5 November 2015

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