House debates

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Questions without Notice

Domestic and Family Violence

2:58 pm

Photo of Nicolle FlintNicolle Flint (Boothby, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Women. Will the minister outline how the Morrison government's stable and certain budget is delivering critical funding to help address the issue of family and domestic violence?

2:59 pm

Photo of Sussan LeySussan Ley (Farrer, Liberal Party, Minister for the Environment) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Boothby for her question, for her keen interest in women's issues and for the support she provides to services in her electorate that, in turn, support women and families, including MarionLIFE and UnitingCare Wesley Bowden, who do such important work.

Because of our careful management of the economy, the Morrison government is able to make the single largest Commonwealth investment of $340 million to support the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. This investment is improving frontline services to keep women safe, to provide safe places for women who are escaping violence and to support prevention strategies to end violence against women. This is a significant achievement—one that I know is supported by all members of the House. Expanded services under the government's investment in the fourth action plan will, in particular, provide increased services to children who either experience or witness violence, along with their families. These specialist family violence services provide support to children, individuals and families. It's important to note that funded services do not require women to leave or stay in a violent relationship, nor do they force or promote couples counselling. All services funded under these programs must apply robust risk management principles.

As the Prime Minister said a couple of weeks ago in talking about this incredibly important issue, the numbers are damning, but they aren't just numbers; they're people. They're girls, women, daughters, sisters, aunties, mums and grand-mums. When you think about it in that context, it's hard to think about anything else. It's so important that we look at prevention, we look at addressing the issue and we talk about the safe places. The Stop it at the Start campaign, the national primary prevention campaign, is yielding really positive results. It's exceeding expectations. The television commercials have been viewed over 45 million times, the website received 1.3 million page reviews, and so on. It's not about 'It's on a website'; it's about changing behaviour. We already have evidence that the behaviour change is happening. Forty-two per cent of all people in a position of influence took action as a result of that campaign.

Responsible economic management and surplus budgets will ensure that the priority we all in this place give to supporting women experiencing and escaping domestic violence continues to be well funded. Indeed, we've been able to increase the funding towards it. It's an important national priority. For information, support and counselling, please phone if you need to: 1800RESPECT.