COAG must reinstate funding for domestic violence services
Acting Greens Leader Larissa Waters says state and territory leaders have the power and responsibility to do much more than talk about how to address domestic violence at today’s COAG meeting.
“For all the talk, families need to see some action. Lives are depending on it,” said Senator Waters.
“The COAG leaders should be demanding Tony Abbott show them the money.
"The Abbott Government's 2015 budget locked in cuts to funding for homelessness, new shelters, legal assistance and Department of Social Services grants.
“In accepting the cuts, our leaders are failing to stand up for families at risk of lethal violence.
“It’s appropriate that domestic violence is on the agenda, but the women and children who are suffering in their own homes with nowhere else to go need more than slow tinkering around the edges.
“Progress on the national DV order scheme is long overdue. This is a commitment that’s 5 years old already, yet still not a reality.
“We already know how to end domestic violence. It takes funding for crisis lines, legal services, crisis accommodation, long-term affordable housing and counselling support, as well as for education, prevention and research.
“Let’s start by reversing Tony Abbott’s cuts,” said Senator Waters.
The 2015 Budget locked in cuts to services assisting victims and survivors of domestic violence including:
$44 million cut from capital expenditure on new shelters and emergency housing announced in the 2014 Budget
$15 million cut from Legal Aid announced in the 2014 Budget
$6 million cut to community legal centres in 2017-18 announced in the 2014 Budget
$240 million cut to the Department of Social Services discretionary grants program announced in the 2014 Budget, coming partly from DV services, including a $1 million cut to three housing and homelessness peak bodies announced three days before Christmas in 2014 as part of the abolition of a $21 million grants program for housing affordability solutions and axing a successful healthy relationships program in schools in Northern NSW which was defunded with no replacement.