Recycled Funding For Women's Safety Is Welcome But Doesn't Make Up For The Cuts

The Turnbull Government’s recycled announcement that it will provide $2.5 million to the Women’s Services Network (WESNET) to support women experiencing technology facilitated abuse is as welcome now as when it was first announced but is not compensation for cuts to frontline services.

TERRI BUTLER MP

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR CHILD SAFETY AND PREVENTION OF FAMILY VIOLENCE

MEMBER FOR GRIFFITH

 

HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

 

RECYCLED FUNDING FOR WOMEN’S SAFETY IS WELCOME BUT DOESN’T MAKE UP FOR THE CUTS

 

The Turnbull Government’s recycled announcement that it will provide $2.5 million to the Women’s Services Network (WESNET) to support women experiencing technology facilitated abuse is as welcome now as when it was first announced but is not compensation for cuts to frontline services.

 

The funding is not new but is a reannouncement of part of the Government’s Women’s Safety Package of September last year.

 

“Malcolm Turnbull should reverse his government’s cuts to frontline services for women and children escaping violence,” Terri Butler said.

 

“Malcolm Turnbull has cut $24 million from community legal centres, $15 million from Legal Aid Commissions, and $13 million from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.

 

“The Turnbull Government is set to cut almost a third of its funding to community legal centres from 2017.

 

“Nationally, family violence is the second most prevalent issue for community legal centres.

 

“And in the last two budgets, $88 million in capital funding was cut from the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness,” she said.

 

“In addition, I’m disappointed that the Turnbull government continues to drag the chain on addressing the emerging form of online abuse, of non-consensual sharing of intimate images.

 

“Tim Watts and I have a private members’ bill before the Parliament aimed at criminalising non-consensual sharing of intimate images. Despite our requests the Turnbull government has failed to support that bill and has failed to introduce, or even announce, its own measure in that regard,” she said.

 

“The Turnbull government has made big promises on measures to combat domestic violence, and we are now waiting for them to become reality. Frontline services like community legal centres are incredibly important in tackling this issue and are struggling under the weight of the Abbott-Turnbull government cuts. I call on Mr Turnbull to inject new funding into these centres so they can keep their doors open and keep serving the desperate families that need them,” Mark Dreyfus said.

 

Bill Shorten and Labor have committed that in government we would implement immediate measures to assist people in family violence situations. The package comprises more than $70 million in measures including:

 

  • approximately $50 million to frontline legal services, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services to ensure people experiencing family violence get legal support and do not have to go to court alone;

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

  • $8.4 million investment in mapping perpetrator activities to look at the interactions across family violence, law enforcement, justice, child protection and related systems to help identify opportunities to prevent violence through information sharing.

     

    Bill Shorten and Brendan O’Connor have also announced that a Labor Government will make domestic and family violence leave a universal workplace right, to further support those suffering family and domestic violence in our community, providing for five days paid domestic and family violence leave in the National Employment Standards (NES).

     

    These commitments build on the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, which Labor established in 2010.

     

    If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

    *** If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000” ***

     

    THURSDAY, 17 MARCH 2016