Monday, 7 December 2020
Questions without Notice
Domestic and Family Violence
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Women. Will the minister update the House on how the Morrison government is working with the states and territories through the Fourth Action Plan of the National Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children to ensure a coordinated approach to addressing the important issue of women's safety?
I thank the member for Robertson for her question and commend her for the work that she does with women's organisations and with women's safety in her electorate of Robertson. I'd like to mention her work with Peninsula Lighthouse, Central Coast Community Women's Health Centre and Coast Shelter, in particular. We all have organisations like this in our electorates, and it's a good time to thank the frontline workers, including the police and ambulance services as well as the support workers and the counsellors—those who work patiently and sensitively to help women overcome the effects of domestic violence and provide them with assistance to rebuild their lives.
Since 2013, the government has invested over a billion dollars to prevent and respond to violence against women and their children, including $340 million committed to initiatives under the fourth action plan. During the COVID-19 period in particular, the government has provided a $150 million domestic and family violence response package. Of that, $130 million has gone to state and territory governments to invest in those specialist services that support crisis accommodation, frontline services and perpetrator intervention programs. The Minister for Women and the Minister for Families and Social Services in the other place have worked quickly with their counterparts at state and territory level to determine priorities for funding and to share information. That funding has been fully provided to state and territory governments, and they will, of course, allocate it within their jurisdictions. We're continuing our Help is Here campaign to ensure that those affected by family, domestic and sexual violence in this time of COVID know where to seek help. The message there is that a crisis out there is no excuse for violence in here. We're making it very clear indeed.
The 2020-21 federal budget also included a range of measures aimed at improving women's safety. The refreshed Women's Economic Security Statement included funding for Respect@Work to provide practical support to employers and employees to prevent and address sexual harassment. The budget included additional support for the legal system. Everybody has a right to be safe in their homes, their communities and their workplaces. The fourth action plan has record funding to address and improve women's safety. Of course, it's world leading in its focus on early intervention: stopping it before it starts. We remain—and this parliament remains—determined and committed during this plan to leave no-one behind.