Posted on 08. Feb, 2013 in News

Budget cuts to Forensicare will put the community at risk and have an impact on the state’s correctional facilities and the justice system in general, Labor’s Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health, Wade Noonan, said today.

Mr Noonan also challenged the Baillieu Government’s assertion that the cuts to Forensicare’s budget were caused by the Commonwealth, particularly given that matters involving court services were the responsibility of the Department of Justice.

“The Baillieu Government will stop at nothing in their dirt throwing campaign with the Federal Government, having today used a vital service for mentally unwell people facing the justice system,” Mr Noonan said.

“To be clear, these cuts will affect the most at-risk mentally unstable people in our community. These cuts will hurt people at a time when they need help the most.”

Mr Noonan said the Government were cost cutting the service and using Canberra as an excuse.

“In the most specious of reasoning, the Baillieu Government is now blaming its own cuts in other departments on Federal health funding revisions,” he said.

“This is simply white-anting Forensicare and blaming it on Canberra, which will have the tragic circumstance of more mentally ill people being sent to prison.

“Put simply Forensicare and Victoria’s Hospitals are funded completely differently – Ted Baillieu and Mary Wooldridge are having a significant lend of the truth here.

“Forensicare has historically been above politics. It is widely regarded as a world leader.

“It was initiated under a Liberal Government then subsequently delivered by Labor.

“But since Ted Baillieu took office, Forensicare has undergone a series of funding cuts, which is threatening its viability.

“Mental health services are going backwards at a rapid rate under the Baillieu Government and cuts to Forensicare’s funding will only compound the pressures on our prisons, courts, police and paramedic services.”

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