WEL NSW welcomes NSW Labor Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Package

Sydney, 26 February 2019 − Women’s Electoral Lobby NSW welcomes the NSW Labor election package of measures to restore some funding to address domestic violence services depleted by the Going Home Staying Home reforms of the NSW State Government.

Making the prevention of domestic violence a key NSW Labor commitment has the potential to improve women’s refuge specialist support services and address unmet needs across the homelessness sector.

In 2015 WEL developed the Women’s and Children’s Safety program which estimated additional new State funds of over $60 million a year would be required to meet crisis accommodation and wrap-around service needs for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

The total amount needed is $120 million, including matched funds from the Commonwealth for specialist beds and domestic violence services in priority areas in NSW.

“The additional 200 beds announced by NSW Labor are, of course, very welcome, but a more comprehensive approach and plan is needed, together with transparent reporting on outcomes, “said Jozefa Sobski member of WEL’s Ending Violence against Women Action Group.  

“The main funding program for homelessness services, which includes women’s refuges, is the signed National Housing and Homelessness Agreement. These Commonwealth and State bilateral Agreements have not been allocated any new money by the Commonwealth. So gaps in services remain across Australia.

“With the number of women being killed a year in domestic related incidents, and thousands of others needing the safety of emergency services, a significant commitment is needed at a State and Federal level,” Ms Sobski said.

“WEL NSW supports the comprehensive approach taken by the NSW Women’s Alliance in its Safe State suite of measures and recommendations to government. This sets an appropriate framework to address the comprehensive response women and children at risk need,” stressed Ms Sobski.

“The NSW Labor announcements today must be viewed as first steps towards a safe state for women and children experiencing violence needing immediate and ongoing support,” Ms Sobski said.

Available for comment:

Jozefa Sobski AM, contact for WEL Violence Against Women Action Group.

Mobile: 0403 895929