Extract from Hansard
I thank the member for
Wendouree for raising a matter with me about the forensic hubs. Victoria really
leads the country in terms of our forensic services. The Morwell and Ballarat
hubs were major uplifts, as have been our mobile forensic vans which are now on
the road. These are significant investments in our regional communities, and it
absolutely is about saving police time but also helping our forensic services
play a really critical role in solving and disrupting crime in Victoria and
doing it much more quickly, being at hand in the local community. As the member
pointed out, I opened the new fire station at Lucas right there in that hub. I
also opened the Ballarat West police station. So not only will I be pleased to
visit but perhaps the member and I could also officially open the forensic hub
in Ballarat very, very soon.
Further response provided 19
I thank the Member for Wendouree for her interest in the new forensic
hub in Ballarat and agree this is great news for the community. I toured the
facility prior to its opening in May and am confident this investment will have
a significant impact on crime investigation.
As part of the $596 million Public Safety Package announced in the
2016-17 Victorian Budget, Victoria Police received funding of $11.6 million for
the establishment of the two forensic hubs.
In the past, the forensic science work in rural and regional Victoria
has been primarily crime scene examination and fingerprints. This meant
thousands of exhibits from crime scenes have had to be transported to the
central laboratory in Melbourne for forensic examination, including illicit
drugs, DNA and other trace evidence analyses. This resulted in delays for
the delivery of critical forensic information to frontline police.
The establishment of the
Ballarat Forensic Hub will allow police to process evidence collected from
crime scenes more efficiently, allowing faster provision of forensic results,
assisting with the early disruption and prevention of crime.
The Ballarat Forensic Hub is
staffed by 11 Forensic Officers and one VPS staff member. The Forensic Officers
perform multi-disciplinary evidence recovery and preliminary analyses across a
range of forensic disciplines including biological, chemical, digital,
botanical, and fingerprint services.
The Victorian Government is committed to giving Victoria Police the
resources it needs to keep our community safe. The government's record $3
billion police investment is delivering 3,135 new sworn police officers, as
well as state-of the-art intelligence systems, new technology, new and upgraded
police stations, and stronger laws.
I look forward to visiting the hub when I am next in Ballarat with the
Member for Wendouree and acknowledge the strong advocacy she has provided for
this critical police infrastructure in Ballarat West.
Hon Lisa Neville
Minister for Police and Emergency