MEDIA RELEASE: 20 JUNE 2016
MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES COMMIT TO EXTRA FUNDING OF FRONTLINE SERVICES
FOR WOMEN ESCAPING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) is pleased that three of the major parties have advised they will commit to extra funding of frontline services, including women’s refuges, for women and children escaping domestic violence.
WEL wrote to each of the party leaders asking them to commit $1billion over 5 years ($200m p.a.) to the Women and Children’s Safety Program (WCSP), to provide women’s refuges and other front line emergency support services for women and their children escaping violence.
The Coalition, the ALP and the Greens responded to WEL by the deadline of Friday 17 June. The Nick Xenophon Team has yet to respond.
WEL is disappointed that none of the parties has specifically endorsed WCSP. Only the Australian Greens have promised to spend an even greater amount than proposed by WCSP, but WEL does welcome the following commitments:
‘The Coalition will make further announcements about specific funding for domestic violence initiatives, including frontline services, before the election.’ Tony Nutt, National Campaign Director, The Turnbull Coalition Team.
Labor’s new Safe Housing For Women Program ‘will increase the number of refuges specifically available to women and children fleeing domestic violence and will provide funding for support services that help women to stay safe in their own homes, as well as support specialist women’s services.’ ALP Information Services Unit, Labor.
‘…The Greens have committed to new 10 year $5billion National Partnership Agreement on Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women to fund such services as crisis phone services, women’s shelters, training for service providers, counselling..’ Senator Larissa Walters, Australian Greens Senator for Queensland and spokesperson for Women.
“WEL is pleased that the parties have made domestic violence a key issue in this federal election campaign as continuing funding for frontline services will save lives,” said Helen L’Orange AM, a spokesperson for WEL. “However we urge the two major parties to understand that adequate funds are needed to keep women and children safe.”
The Commonwealth contribution to WCSP would be $200 million a year, or just 2 cents a day. To highlight this, WEL recently launched it’s #my2centsworth campaign, asking people in the community to urge political leaders to spend the 2 cents a day needed to fund refuges and other frontline services.
Available for comment: Helen L’Orange AM, Convenor, WEL Violence Against Women Action Group
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