Labor Welcomes Action On National DVO Scheme

Labor welcomes the Government’s announcement that it will be seeking an agreement on a national domestic violence order scheme, but notes that Tony Abbott made the same announcement in June 2014.

Labor welcomes the Government’s announcement that it will be seeking an agreement on a national domestic violence order scheme, but notes that Tony Abbott made the same announcement in June 2014.

 

Last year the Prime Minister said ''Domestic violence orders are court orders and they should be enforceable nationwide.... This has been talked about for too long and now, it must happen.''

 

Following that announcement the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council committed to considering model legislation enacting a national domestic violence scheme. Labor welcomes the work of all governments and looks forward to the release of that model legislation when the Council meets in April.

 

The announcement of Rosie Batty as Australian of the Year recognises her tremendous efforts in shedding light on this issue and is an invaluable boost to the many women and men who have been working tirelessly to highlight domestic and family violence.

 

If Ms Batty’s acknowledgement leads to action on the plan to nationalise domestic violence orders, that is even more significant.

 

The Federal Opposition also welcomes the announcement of an Advisory Panel on violence against women including the appointment of the 2015 Australian of the Year, Ms Rosie Batty and Mr Ken Lay APM as founding members.

 

The statistics are appalling, for every woman who is killed by her partner there are hundreds more each week who are suffering violence at home.

 

The Government must consider the impact of cuts to key programs that support women affected by family violence including $240 million cut to community services including Family Relationships services, Emergency Relief funding, Financial Counselling services and homelessness advocacy services, accompanied by a shambolic grants process leaving hundreds of services with an uncertain future.

 

25 per cent of people seeking homelessness services’ are women and children fleeing domestic and family violence.

 

This Government has not given Community Legal Centres or Family Violence Prevention Legal Services any funding certainty beyond June.

 

This lack of support comes on top of the $15 million cut to Legal Aid in the budget and a $43 million cut to Community Legal Centres in MYEFO.

 

Labor calls on the Government to reverse these savage cuts to legal assistance and support services, which will make it harder for at risk women and children to seek help.

 

Labor is committed to considering a range of policy approaches to prevent family violence and recognise the need for national leadership. It is why we established the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Children 2010-2022 to bring together all governments in a long term strategy for this cause. We welcome ongoing support for this Plan.