Victim support team needs bipartisan support, says Guy

Opposition leader Matthew Guy.
Opposition leader Matthew Guy.

Opposition leader Matthew Guy has called on the Andrews government to back a CFA-modeled rapid response team to support victims of serious crime.

However the state government said it already had a “comprehensive” victim support network in place.

Speaking in Ballarat on Thursday, Mr Guy said the city would be a hub for a regional response team, set to include volunteer counsellors, multi-faith chaplains and support workers.

Workers would be deployed to traumatic events and disasters in a CFA-style model, he said.

The policy – to be taken to the next election – will cost $5.5 million over five years.

“Rather than have this response which will come between two days and two weeks, we’re saying we want to provide it within 24 hours – potentially within the first hour,” Mr Guy said.

“We have to have a very strong and deliberate focus on the people who are the victims. I’m getting really fed up with seeing all our time and effort focused on the perpetrators. The state has got to do all we can to support them.”

Attorney General Martin Pakula said the government was pumping $28.5 million into support services for victims and witnesses. 

“On a daily basis, Victoria Police refer victims to the Victims of Crime Helpline as standard procedure. When significant incidents occur, the Victim Support Agency also deploys support staff to the scene,” he said.