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Emergency action needed from PM to stop more deaths from violence

Media Release
Larissa Waters 26 Feb 2020

The Prime Minister must address the national crisis of women’s death by violence with a $5 billion investment in domestic violence response and full implementation of recommendations from previous inquiries, say the Greens.

Greens Senate Leader and spokesperson on Women, Senator Larissa Waters, said, “The Prime Minister stood in parliament this week and said “the system” has failed Hannah Clarke, he must take responsibility for ending this crisis in deaths from violence.

"The Prime Minister has the purse strings to the system and can fix it.

“It’s time the Prime Minister puts words into action with additional funding for prevention and frontline services so no domestic violence survivor seeking help is ever turned away.

“Women’s services keep warning of the urgent need for more funding for the Family Court, prevention and early intervention programs, specialist legal and support services, crisis accommodation and housing support to improve the family law system.

“We must listen to what these front line services say will make a difference, calls for more inquiries are not what the sector is asking for.

“The truth is any new inquiry into domestic and family violence is probably going to conclude what all the others have already recommended: more funding and resources for prevention and more funding and resources for crisis and support services. 

“The Greens won’t stand in the way of another inquiry but the Government has form ignoring domestic violence  inquiry recommendations and this can’t be another excuse for delaying urgently needed funding.

“The existing family law inquiry will have its potential effectiveness undermined if witnesses don’t think they’ll get a fair hearing, so the committee must be depoliticised by removing Pauline Hanson as deputy chair after her remarks.

“I’ve written to committee members asking for Hanson's removal as deputy chair, after the Government refused to answer whether they will remove her, and I’ll pursue this through the committee.

“This year nine women have lost their lives to violence.The government needs to stump up the funds and fix this crisis,” she said.

Background

Senator Waters’ motion in the Federal Senate today:

Senator Waters: To move—that the Senate— (a)notes that:

(i)in his statement to Parliament regarding the murders of Ms Hannah Clarke and her children on 24 February 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “We must reflect on how and where the system failed Hannah and her children, as it has failed so many others. It’s so frustrating. It’s so devastating”, and

(ii)women’s services have consistently identified the need for more funding for the Family Court, prevention and early intervention programs, specialist legal and support services, crisis accommodation and housing support to improve the family law system; and(b)calls on the Federal Government to adequately fund domestic, family and sexual violence and crisis housing services to ensure that all women and children seeking safety can access these services when and where they need them.

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