House debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Questions without Notice

Domestic And Family Violence

2:29 pm

Photo of Alicia PayneAlicia Payne (Canberra, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Social Services. What is the Albanese Labor government doing to help end domestic and family violence?

Photo of Amanda RishworthAmanda Rishworth (Kingston, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

I'd like to thank the member for Canberra for her question and also her advocacy over many years towards ending family and domestic violence. Now, we know that this issue of family and domestic violence doesn't just impact individuals. It doesn't just impact families. It impacts whole communities. On average, every week, Australian police deal with 5,000 domestic violence matters. That's one every two minutes, which means that, before I finish this answer, one of those calls is likely to be made. This is unacceptable, and we are working to turn this around.

Along with states and territories, our national plan to end violence against women and children, which was released in October, set a vision to end violence in one generation. As I said at the time and as I've said since, it's an ambitious vision, but, with all of us pulling in the same direction, it's achievable. I would like to thank this parliament for the support that has been shown for ending this terrible scourge.

Our government is making women's safety a national priority. We are providing the focus and national leadership needed to deliver change. We've invested a record $1.7 billion for women's safety to support the implementation of the plan. This investment is in all of the four domains of the national plan: prevention, early intervention, response, and recovery and healing. Alongside that work, our government has already taken steps to ensure women are not disadvantaged in the workplace as they deal with the impacts of family and domestic violence. We never want a woman to have to choose between their economic security, their job or their safety. This is why we've successfully introduced 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave.

We also know that family and domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness for women and children, and that's why we're providing $100 million for up to 720 additional safe places for women and children leaving violent situations.

Of course, our government is also committed to supporting 1800RESPECT, which supports people impacted by family, domestic and sexual violence, and we are working to improve this service to cover sexual harassment at the workplace as well as provide support through SMS and video calls.

In my final few seconds, I want to say that, if anyone is concerned about their behaviour or that of someone they know, I encourage them to contact the Men's Referral Service on 1300766491. For anyone experiencing sexual, family or domestic violence, help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from 1800RESPECT. You can call 1800737732 any time or visit their website.

2:33 pm

Photo of Peter DuttonPeter Dutton (Dickson, Liberal Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

on indulgence—I want to associate the coalition with the fine words of the minister. It's an abhorrent crime type and it's massively underreported, so the figures read out by the minister don't represent the true picture, as we all know. I commend the minister for the action she's taking. We've supported every measure that she outlined in her speech, and it builds on a very significant investment that we made when we were in government, particularly over the course of COVID, where people were confined in small spaces, in one-bedroom units and environments they might otherwise have been able to spend time away from during the hours of work et cetera.

There are many aspects to this. The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is an incredible success with the work they do there and the children they save. In addition to the advice that the minister's provided, I direct people to their website because it's a great resource for a conversation at home with your children, with your young daughters. We will support every measure that the government puts forward to end this scourge in our country.