House debates

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Statements by Members

Women's Legal Service Victoria

1:42 pm

Photo of Joanne RyanJoanne Ryan (Lalor, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to share with the House the state of funding for the Women's Legal Service Victoria. I met yesterday with Helen Matthews and Joanna Fletcher, like many of my Victorian colleagues, to hear of the terrible, terrible state of affairs in terms of their federal funding and what those cuts will mean on the ground for Victorian women.

There is a $200,000 cut which translates into 600 Victorian women who will lose access to family violence services—to legal support in the Family Court. This is an absolute disgrace, and we need this money put back into the system immediately. As if it is not bad enough that this government has cut money from community legal centres, which will see 36,000 people potentially not get the legal support they need, this is critical—and it is critical, on the day we have a breakfast for International Women's Day, to listen to our Prime Minister talk with aspiring rhetoric about domestic violence and taking action. Take some action today, Prime Minister: reverse this cut for Victorian women, for women suffering in domestic violence situations—for them and their children. Let us make sure they get justice, Prime Minister. Reverse this cut. Do as you say you are going to do. Walk the walk; talk the talk.