Thursday, 8 October 2020
Questions without Notice
Domestic and Family Violence
My question is to the Prime Minister. In Tuesday's budget, funding for an anti-sexual-assault and anti-domestic-violence program for young Australians, Respect Matters, was halved. Why is the government racking up a trillion dollars of Liberal debt while cutting critical programs like this?
The $340 million fourth national action plan to reduce violence against women has been a critical initiative that has enjoyed bipartisan support. The funding profiles that are set out for that $340 million package and all the other measures have enjoyed bipartisan support. What is set out in the budget is consistent with what that package has been.
The Leader of the Opposition has supported it—thankfully and rightly, and we appreciate that—as was done by the previous Leader of the Opposition. The national action plan was an initiative that begun under the previous government. We supported it then, and they continue to support it now, when they're in opposition, as should be the case. In this budget not only have we moved on the Women's Economic Security Statement but we've also continued to provide the important support, particularly for women who are faced with suffering from domestic violence.
Most recently, $58 million in the Safe Places Emergency Accommodation program, 40 projects recently announced—
I make reference to that in the context of the broader package through which it's funded and receives support from both sides of this House. There is $82.2 million in this budget to improve and build on the frontline services to keep women and children safe. I was just mentioning now the $58.74 million for those safe place emergency accommodation programs—34 organisations in remote, regional and metropolitan areas of this country. Forty projects are providing 700 safe places to 6,000 people per year. The Keeping Women Safe in their Homes package includes funding for security upgrades so women can remain in their own homes. There is $68.3 million for prevention strategies to help eradicate domestic, family and sexual violence in homes, workplaces, communities and clubs. There's $35 million to support prevention measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, funded under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy. There's $64 million for 1800RESPECT, the national sexual assault domestic and family violence counselling service. There's $7.8 million for dedicated men's support worker services and family advocacy. There's $4.9 million to better support former partners of veterans who are impacted by domestic violence. Issues of domestic violence are a matter of bipartisan commitment in this place. We continue to pursue the National Action Plan, as has been supported by both sides of this House.