Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Questions without Notice
Domestic and Family Violence
My question is to the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for Women. Will the minister update the House on how the Morrison government is boosting the capacity of frontline domestic violence services and ensuring accountability under the next National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children?
I thank the member for Chisholm for her question and commend her on the leadership she shows in her electorate for women and girls. The Morrison government is absolutely focused on making Australia a place that is free from violence against women and their children. Across Australia, violence against women is estimated to cost $21.7 billion a year, but it's the social and emotional cost that is immeasurable as so many live every day from the fallout of this invisible pandemic, especially the often-silent victims, the children.
We demonstrated our commitment to ending family and domestic violence in the 2021-22 budget, where we made the largest ever commitment to women's safety with our $1.1 billion package. This historic package includes key measures that contribute to our net zero target. Importantly, it provided a down payment on the next national plan to not only reduce but end violence against women and their children, because we should always remember that violence against women is not inevitable; it's entirely preventable. We all have a role to play, which is why we partnered with the states through our $260 million national partnership agreement on family, domestic and sexual violence, which was the single biggest payment from the Commonwealth to states and territories, as well as the $130 million we were able to provide to ensure that frontline workers continue to support women through the pandemic.
That investment went to more than 450 support and crisis organisations so they could employ hundreds more staff and deliver those important services to women across the country. We know the next national plan needs to be more than ambitious words. That's why we're backing it with our funding. That's why we're investing $22.4 million over five years to establish a new Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission. The commission will oversee the implementation of the next national plan. It will support the government, developing and fostering relationships, ensuring greater cooperation and transparency, and providing national leadership and accountability to make sure the next national plan delivers real and tangible actions.
The record funding we've provided and strong organisations such as this new commission will allow us to get closer to the outcomes that we all seek: to stop it at the start, to call it out, to know that help is here on 1800RESPECT, to shine a light so that we leave no-one behind.
on indulgence—The scourge of domestic and family violence is something that we all—not just governments but community organisations and indeed our entire society—have to take greater action in.