Going into COAG, if the federal government is actually committed to the safety of women and children experiencing domestic violence, they must commit to long-term funding for specialist homelessness services, say the Australian Greens.
"We know that domestic violence is one of the key causes of homelessness, and that many women and children are forced to choose between violence and homelessness because emergency shelters are full and long-term affordable accommodation is extremely limited,” said Australian Greens Deputy Leader and spokesperson for women, Larissa Waters.
"On Friday COAG will discuss federal funding of The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), which has had only short-term one and two year funding extensions under the Abbott-Turnbull Governments.
“So far the Abbott-Turnbull Government axed $44 million for new homelessness shelters and reduced funding for NPAH, including programs which support women and children fleeing domestic violence. Now they have a chance to end the uncertainty around NPAH’s future by pledging long-term funding to give the sector the certainty it desperately needs.
“This lack of long-term, secure funding for NPAH massively impedes the work of life-saving frontline services.
"One-third of all people who accessed specialist homelessness services (including children) have experienced violence at home.
“If Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull does not give funding certainty for NPAH by the end of the year, specialist DV housing services will be forced to close.
"The Australian Greens are calling for a ten-year funding plan for the NPAH with dedicated funding for specialist services for women facing domestic violence and sexual assault.
"To end domestic violence, we need more than words; the government needs to stop the funding cuts and deliver long-term funding boosts," said Senator Waters.
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