The Greens are calling for funding for domestic violence services to urgently be put firmly on the agenda of the Queensland election.
“It’s disappointing that the major parties are failing to put the critical issue of domestic violence on the election agenda,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens spokesperson for women, said.
“Domestic violence is a state emergency. In 2013 alone there were more than 64 000 occurrences of domestic violence in Queensland.
“Having initiated a Senate Inquiry into domestic violence, I’ve heard harrowing evidence from Queensland refuges, phone lines and community legal centres, that they cannot keep up with the tragically high demand.
“What we urgently need is a bidding war between the two major parties to commit more funding to domestic violence services, especially specialist women’s refuges and longer term affordable housing.
“Even if the major parties were to look at this just from an economic perspective, Queensland Government research shows domestic and family violence costs an estimated $2.7 to $3.2 billion a year to the Queensland economy.
“Many Queensland women are faced with the unbearable choice of homelessness or living with violence – we cannot let this continue,” Senator Waters said.
Bronwyn Rees, CEO of RiSE Queensland, a support service for women experiencing domestic violence, said:
“The LNP will tell you that housing waitlists have gone down but clients are telling me, again and again, they’re being told not to bother putting their name on the list as it’s pointless.
“At a federal level, the Abbott Government’s abolition of the National Rental Affordability Scheme and its cuts to community legal services are compounding the problem.
“In the recent Victorian state election, domestic violence was a key election issue but here in Queensland the major parties are failing to even talk about this, let alone to pledge more funding.
“With the election less than two weeks away, the major parties need to urgently prove to Queenslanders how serious they are about eradicating domestic violence,” Ms Rees said.