Wed, 13 Feb - 16:45
Viewed 10 times

Questions Without Notice: The Government's investment in assisting victims and survivors of domestic violence

I thank the member for North Sydney for his question. He's been a strong champion on the need for appropriate support for women and children facing the threat of domestic violence. He's worked closely with Mary's House in Delvena in his electorate, and through that experience he is acutely aware of the shortage of emergency accommodation for women escaping domestic violence—as indeed am I from my involvement with the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women's Shelter in my electorate of Bradfield.

The facts are shocking. Eight women are hospitalised every day in Australia due to domestic violence. When a woman needs to leave her home because of the threat of domestic violence very often she has virtually no time to prepare. She may have jumped in the car with just the clothes her on back. She may have bundled the kids in the car as well. Then the question is: where does she go? There is a shortage of emergency accommodation, which is why the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday was so important.

The Prime Minister committed, as part of a $78 million commitment, that $60 million would be provided over three years for capital grants to eligible organisations to provide new or expanded emergency accommodation facilities. The grant program will encourage contributions from other levels of government and from private and philanthropic sources. It's estimated that this will create some 450 additional places, and some 6½ thousand people a year are likely to be able to find refuge in this emergency accommodation.

This funding of $78 million, on top of the additional funding we've committed—for example, $10.9 million in November last year, additional funding for 1800RESPECT—is possible because of our strong budgetary management. When we make this commitment, we know we can pay for it.

I'm asked if there are any other approaches. I'll tell you, Mr Speaker. You know that, when the member for Kooyong stands up in a few weeks time and announces a surplus, the people of Australia can be confident that surplus will be delivered. That's in very stark contrast to when the member for Lilley stood up and announced a surplus, which Labor comprehensively failed to deliver not once, not twice, but four times. A strong budget is absolutely critical to being able to deliver the services that Australians rely upon—services like emergency accommodation for domestic violence and services across the breadth of my portfolio, across health and across social services. Our Liberal-National government can be relied upon to maintain a strong budget and a strong economy and, therefore, to dependably fund the services that Australians rely on.