The Victorian government will front the state’s truth-telling inquiry for a second time after it was given an extension to produce documents.
The Yoorrook Justice Commission held a directions hearing last week over the government’s failure to meet deadlines to provide evidence as directed by the inquiry.
It is a criminal offence to fail to comply with a notice to produce documents without a reasonable excuse.
During last week’s hearing, lawyers for the government conceded the delays would affected the commission’s ability to provide an interim and final report within its own deadlines.
But Georgina Coghlan KC, acting on behalf of the government, still requested an extension of time for the government to produce the documents.
Ms Coghlan said it had been “practically impossible” for the government to meet its obligations because of the sheer amount of work required.
The commission granted an extension to April 6, with the government to provide an update at another directions hearing on Tuesday.
A timetable will also be set for future hearings.
Yoorrook is the first formal truth-telling inquiry into past and ongoing injustices against Indigenous people in Victoria as part of the state’s path to treaty.
Established with royal commission powers, Yoorrook can compel people to produce documents, attend hearings and give evidence.
“Yoorrook expects the Victorian government to work openly and honestly in Victoria’s vital truth-telling process,” commission chair Eleanor Bourke said in a statement.
“Truth-telling must come from all sides, not just from First Peoples.
“The Victorian government must do better if we are to truly reckon with the injustice perpetrated against First Peoples in this state.”