The federal Senate today passed a Greens’ motion calling on the Abbott Government to reverse its funding cuts to domestic violence services.
“Tony Abbott needs to match his rhetoric on domestic violence with action, instead of cutting the services which women rely on to escape violence,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens spokesperson for women, said.
“Our Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty is calling for long-term secure funding for specialist women’s domestic violence services and Tony Abbott needs to listen.
“Domestic violence is the biggest cause of homelessness for women and the Abbott Government’s cuts mean more women will face the awful decision of violence or homelessness.
“It’s a tragic situation made even more unbearable when women are fearing for their children’s safety as well.
“On top of abolishing the National Rental Affordability Scheme, the Abbott Government has cut more than $100 million from legal services, emergency accommodation and housing and homelessness peak bodies.
“The Abbott Government is also putting funding for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness and Family Violence Prevention Legal Services under great uncertainty.
“With these cuts and funding uncertainty, services are having to let staff go and drop plans for expansion even though they can’t keep up with the tragically high demand already,” Senator Waters said.
The motion read:
The Senate notes –
That the federal Government has appointed Ms Rosie Batty Australian of the Year for 2015.
Ms Batty’s call for investment into preventing violence against women and for long-term secure funding for specialist women’s domestic violence services.
The Inaugural Asia-Pacific conference on Gendered Violence and Violations currently taking place in Sydney.
The federal government’s $43 million cuts to the legal assistance sector including to community legal centres, legal aid, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services announced in December 2013.
The federal government’s $44 million cut to research and capital expenditure on new shelters and emergency accommodation under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness announced in the May Budget.
That funding for domestic violence services under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness is set to expire on 1 July 2015.
The federal government’s cuts to housing and homelessness peak bodies announced three days before Christmas, in December 2014.
Ongoing funding uncertainty for Family Violence Prevention Legal Services.
The Senate calls on the federal Government to reverse funding cuts to domestic violence services and guarantee funding certainty.