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Victoria’s new information sharing scheme aimed at reducing family violence

A new information sharing scheme in Victoria will come into effect this month to address the concerns raised by the 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence. The Family Violence Protection Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2017 is aimed at minimising the legislative barriers that have prevented the timely sharing of information in cases of family violence.

The previous requirement that a threat be ‘imminent’ as well as ‘serious’ before information could be shared or released set a higher threshold that was difficult for practitioners to interpret.  The new scheme is designed to operate within the existing privacy obligations, however sets a lower threshold for the disclosure of confidential information for the purpose of family violence assessment and protection. 

The HCC and the Office for the Victorian Information Commissioner have released an information sheet to assist organisations that handle personal and health information, which can be viewed here.