SENATOR CLAIRE MOORE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CARERS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES
SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND
SENATOR CAROL BROWN
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR FAMILIES AND PAYMENTS
LABOR SENATOR FOR TASMANIA
TONY ABBOTT CUTS ESSENTIAL SERVICES SUPPORTING FAMILY VIOLENCE VICTIMS
It has today been revealed that the Abbott Liberal Government has cut ongoing funding to 27 Specialised Family Violence Services which support thousands of people who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence, including children.
Due to the short-sightedness of this Liberal Government none of the 27 previously funded Specialised Family Violence Services were successful in securing ongoing funding through the recent Department of Social Services grants round.
Senator Carol Brown, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Payments, said answers to questions from February's Senate Estimates confirmed the cut to the services.
"As a result of the bungled grants process, which included funding cuts of more than $270 million, critical services which provided behaviour change groups and counselling for children and families who have experienced family violence have been cut.
"These cuts represent an attack on vital support for children and families who have experienced and witnessed family violence.
"Services providers have told me that while the Specialised Family Violence Services only made up a small component of their overall funding for family and relationship services, it was an integral part of the service supporting families with complex needs.
"Unfortunately, the Liberals do not recognise the importance of these services.
"The bridging funding announced by the Government is nothing more than a short reprieve for organisations that have been told their funding will end.
"If Scott Morrison is serious about standing up for families and children he should reverse these cuts immediately."
Senator Claire Moore, Shadow Minister for Women, said that Labor will be considering a range of policy approaches to prevent family violence and has called for urgent action.
Labor has called on the Prime Minister to hold a National Crisis Summit on Family Violence and announced a $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 to enable better accountability.
"Labor 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 government support for this Plan and genuine cross party engagement," said Senator Moore.
Labor is committed to ensure family violence is addressed as a national priority.
TUESDAY, 14 APRIL 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: MEREDITH HORNE (MOORE) 0408 599 800
SUE BAILEY (BROWN) 0417 550 279