We’d love Christian Porter to be talking new money for women’s refuges but he isn’t - just another 'reannouncement'
Here at WEL we are saddened by the continuing news that there is no new funding for frontline family violence services. Almost daily we hear of yet another woman killed at the hands of her partner or ex-partner, and until attitudinal and behavioural change campaigns and programs can show real results, WEL is calling on the Government to establish a Women's and Children's Safety Program (WACS Program). With a large number women's refuges closing their doors, and the remainder struggling to provide services on limited funding, women and children remain at risk.
Asked last week about greater funding for frontline domestic violence services, Christian Porter, Minister for Social Services, said the Coalition government has done more in the past nine months than has been ever done before. Minister Porter cited $230 million for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH).
Porter's comments last week were a 'reannouncement' of the March 2015 announcement by Scott Morrison, the then Federal Minister for Social Services. In March 2015, the Federal Government extended homelessness funding for another two years, providing $230 million under the NPAH.
Mr Morrison said the Government would provide $230 million to extend NPAH until 2017, with funding priority given to frontline services focusing on women and children experiencing domestic and family violence, and homeless youth under 18. (1)
The Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) report issued in December 2015 has no homelessness funds for 2017-2018. (2)
Attitudinal and behavioural change are crucial to eliminating violence against women. But so are drastically underfunded women’s refuges and other frontline domestic violence services.
WEL spokesperson Helen L’Orange said, ‘the Prime Minister should emulate Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews who has moved swiftly to commit half a billion dollars to implement the recommendations of Royal Commission into Family Violence.’