Victims of crime and trauma in the Latrobe Valley would have faster access to support under a Liberal Nationals plan for a Victims Support Rapid Response Service.
This new service to be co-ordinated by the Department of Justice, would have regional co-ordinators based at three locations outside of Melbourne, including Traralgon.
In Morwell today, Member for Morwell and Road Heroes Gippsland committee member Russell Northe and Shadow Minister for Police and Community Safety Edward O’Donohue met with retired Senior Police Chaplain Reverend Jim Pilmer to discuss support following road and other trauma in regional communities.
Mr Northe said despite regional Victoria experiencing more road fatalities than metropolitan Melbourne, a lack of local services meant many people had to travel to Melbourne for road trauma counselling and support.
“At a time when they are most vulnerable, people in our community have to make the long trip to Melbourne or speak with a specialist over the phone for support,” Mr Northe said.
“A Liberal-Nationals government would put the needs of victims first, by establishing a Victims Support Rapid Response Service to offer immediate local support to our community members in the aftermath of a traumatic event.
“A regional co-ordinator based in Traralgon would be able to offer support tailored to the specific needs of our community.”
Crime in the Latrobe Valley has skyrocketed to 21.85 per cent since Daniel Andrews was elected and Shadow Minister for Community Safety Edward O’Donohue said there must be better supports in place to help victims at the earliest opportunity.
“This service will be of great assistance to victims of crime and emergency service workers across Victoria and will provide victims with access to ongoing counselling where needed,” Mr O’Donohue said.
Senior Police Chaplain, Rev Jim Pilmer said this new service, an Australian first, will provide a swift and pro-active response for both primary and secondary victims; including those affected by major incidents, road trauma and suicide.
“The recent Bourke Street tragedy has highlighted the need to have a trained multi-discipline victim support team working in conjunction with all emergency services,” Mr Pilmer said.
Media contact: 5133 9088