Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (12:22): My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Crime Prevention, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Youth Justice and Minister for Victim Support, the Honourable Natalie Hutchins. My question relates to the minister’s portfolio responsibilities for crime prevention.
The Victorian government has extended the support for community safety in Brimbank to address the primary causes of crime. As part of the Victorian government’s building safer communities program, the City of Brimbank will be the first local government crime prevention partner to receive $700,000 in grants. The first forum was held in Brimbank in November 2020 for hearing the challenges pertaining to personal safety of youth, followed by Melton and Hume. The grants build on the issues explored at the forum that resulted in funding for CCTV, lighting and other safety improvements, and programs for youth from diverse backgrounds. This project is funded through the community crime prevention program and includes more than $2.8 million for 38 crime prevention projects in the Brimbank local government area.
Can the minister provide me with an update on how this initiative will progress further to safeguard the residents of the Western Metropolitan Region?
The Hon Natalie Hutchins MP Minister for Crime Prevention, Minister for Corrections Minister for Youth Justice, Minister for Victim Support (7 December 2021):
As part of the Victorian Labor Government’s Building Safer Communities Program, the Brimbank, Hume and Melton local government areas have been approved for up to $700,000 each to deliver local, evidence‐informed solutions to crime prevention issues and build the knowledge base of effective crime prevention practice.
This is part of the Victorian Labor Government’s commitment to tackling the root causes of crime.
Evidence has shown us that community driven initiates work when communities have the resources to identify and address the local issues which matters most to them and that is the exact aim of the Building Safer Communities Program.
The combined investment for local projects of up to $2.1 million will give the Action Groups the resources they need to tackle important community safety issues identified at the forums. These Action Groups are in the process of considering local crime and community safety concerns as well as examining existing activity to improve safety. This will enable the community to agree on the focus that takes into consideration the locally identified priorities to inform activity over the period to 30 June 2023.
These initiatives will be evaluated as they are implemented to identify and share learnings and to ensure activity is targeted to achieving impact within the community, playing an important part of the Andrew’s Labor Government’s commitment of tackling the root causes of crime.
Recently, we undertook an EOI process where more councils were invited to apply for funding under the Empowering Communities Round Two Grants, expanding the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to tackling root causes of crime even further across our great state of Victoria.