People in Victoria with minor criminal convictions will be eligible to have their record effectively wiped clean after a decade.
The Spent Convictions Bill was introduced by the Reason Party, the successor to the Sex Party, and passed this week by the Parliament of Victoria.
The new law will mean that if a person was sentenced to serve more than six months in jail then after 10 years a court can approve to crime would be expunged from their permanent record.
The process is quicker and simpler for offences which attracted a penalty of fewer than six months imprisonment.
Victoria was the only state in Australia without spent conviction provisions.
Reason Party MP Fiona Patten said the legislation was long overdue and would allow people to “move on” - possibly from foolish decisions made in their youth.
“I understand how a criminal record … can have such a negative, detrimental impact on people’s lives and especially people from Indigenous or multicultural backgrounds,” she told NITV.
Last year, nine per cent of adult prisoners in Victoria identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
“We know that a criminal record has a serious impact on people’s opportunities for employment, on education and on travel,” Ms Patten said.
“I’m very pleased that I’ve been able to initiate this reform that I know will have such a positive impact on some of the poorest people in our society.”