A lack of adequate funding in the latest Budget for services and programs will see good intentions to address crisis levels of domestic and family violence in Australia flounder, according to the Women’s Electoral Lobby, Australia (WELA).
WEL Australia spokesperson Emma Davidson said despite a renewed focus on addressing domestic and family violence at the Federal level, without adequate funding to support women escaping violence and bring about behavior change in perpetrators, nothing would change.
“Domestic and family violence services are grossly under-resourced in Australia. Women are being turned away at outrageous rates, transitional housing is scarce and much needed legal services hanging on by the skin of their teeth.
“If the Government is really serious about addressing domestic and family violence it needs to go back to the drawing board on this.”
Ms Davidson said she welcomes the Government’s plan to boost investment in services and streamline payments to help pay for services.
“Early Childhood Education and Care needs urgent attention. Affordability, accessibility and distribution have been ongoing concerns for years.
“This is a good step in the right direction but we must be very careful about focusing solely on the workforce participation benefits of early education and care and not on the benefits it brings to children.
“It would be very unfair to see children miss out on the important early learning years because of a misplaced policy focus in this area.”
Ms Davidson said the plan to restrict access to government funded Paid Parental Leave was a huge step backwards for families.
“This complete 180 degree turn from the Government is astounding. We must not forget this should be an important workplace entitlement for all parents.
“The Productivity Commission found the current government scheme of at least 18 weeks minimum wage with employers encouraged to top up was working well to maintain women’s connection to the workforce and support families.
“WEL is deeply concerned this new scheme will not provide adequate support for new parents and will further increase the staggering gender pay gap which is at a 20 year high.”
Contact: Emma Davidson 0411 449 524