Thursday, 2 September 2021
Questions without Notice
National Summit on Women's Safety
My question is to the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for Women. Next week's women's safety summit will inform the national plan to end violence against women and their children. Will the minister outline to the House how this crucial work involving leading experts, frontline workers, counsellors and survivors will help achieve real outcomes to improve the safety of women and children across Australia?
Can I thank the member for Bass for her question. She has a deep personal interest in, and a commitment to, the safety of women and their children. She talked about this in her first speech. She works hard for change. I know she is continuing her own series of roundtables with women's safety advocates, and I want to assure her that what they say and what she says will be listened to by this government.
I want to take the opportunity to thank the frontline workers, those who provide crisis accommodation, emergency management and support through the challenging road to justice for women and their families. We know the work you do under harrowing circumstances is vital, especially through the pandemic, in circumstances that change every day.
We cannot stray from our goal to stop it at the start, to work towards zero, so that all women and children can live a life free from the threat of physical violence and abuse in all its forms. We also recognise that as we work towards that goal we want to provide sustainable holistic support for women and their children. And that's why the women's safety summit is an opportunity to continue the conversations, to listen to the experts, to listen to the concerns of particular communities right across Australia—rural and regional, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, recently arrived migrants—to understand the challenges facing older women, to understand how we can improve police and justice responses, to look at economic and housing security, and safety in the workplace.
I was able to participate earlier today in one of the roundtable consultation sessions, and I look forward to the insights gained from the summit. I encourage all members to tune into the summit online at womenssafetysummit.com.au on Monday and Tuesday of next week. The submission process is available until 15 September.
The summit and the consultation on the next national plan will help lay out the road map towards zero, and this of course is being supported by the single largest-ever investment by a government in women's safety—$1.1 billion. That's just our down payment on the next national plan. We invested $64 million in the last budget implementing the Roadmap for Respect, and today the respect at work amendment bill passed the parliament. I welcome its passing, because we care and we respond to women's safety in the workplace. Everyone deserves safety. The crucial work being undertaken by so many will reach a new milestone at the women's safety summit, and I look forward to the summit commencing and updating the parliament on its outcomes.