Abbott Government Needs To Support Frontline Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Services

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Shayne Neumann and Shadow Minister for Women Senator Claire Moore met in Canberra today with representatives from Family Violence Prevention Legal Services from around the country and heard the importance these frontline servicesplay to reduce victimisation and incarceration rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

THE HON SHAYNE NEUMANN MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGEING

MEMBER FOR BLAIR

 

SENATOR CLAIRE MOORE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CARERS

SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES

SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

 

ABBOTT GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO SUPPORT FRONTLINE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER SERVICES

 

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Shayne Neumann and Shadow Minister for Women Senator Claire Moore met in Canberra today with representatives from Family Violence Prevention Legal Services from around the country and heard the importance these frontline servicesplay to reduce victimisation and incarceration rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

 

These services have suffered under the Abbott Government, which removed them from their usual place alongside other Commonwealth-funded legal assistance programs within the Attorney-General’s portfolio, and forced them to tender for their funding under the Abbott Government’s farcically administered Indigenous Advancement Program.

 

It is vital that the Government steps up to ensure that vital services like the FVPLS are adequately and sustainably funded if we are to address family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

 

Alarmingly, Indigenous women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of family violence, a fact highlighted in a recent Senate report.

The Senate report also made a recommendation to recognise:

the long term effort required to address domestic and family violence and recommends that the current Commonwealth short-term funding arrangements should be extended to a multi-year approach to reduce the level of uncertainty for services and to allow for adequate future planning in the sector

 –  Recommendation 22

Specialised frontline services such as those provided by FVPLS play a critical role in keeping women and children safe from family violence.

 

Labor continues to call on the Prime Minister to hold a National Crisis Summit on Family Violence and to support their $70 million interim package of measures to make sure women get the legal support they need and have somewhere safe to go. This includes:  

 

-      Almost $50 million to legal services, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services to ensure women suffering from family violence have appropriate legal support; 

-      Initial investment of $15 million in Safe at Home grants to help people affected by family violence stay safe in their own home; and

-      An investment of $8 million in perpetrator interaction mapping.

 

Labor is committed to considering a range of policy approaches to prevent family violence and recognises the need for national leadership.

 

MONDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER 2015