Greens commit $5 billion in long-term, secure funding for domestic violence services

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Australian Greens have today announced a $5 billion plan over ten years to provide long-term, secure funding for domestic violence services, as part of a comprehensive domestic violence services package.

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and spokesperson for women, said:

“Australia is in the middle of a domestic violence crisis, with vulnerable women being turned away from women’s shelters to face violence or homelessness, due to a lack of funding.

“Every woman who bravely reaches out for help to escape domestic violence must be supported.

“That’s why we Greens are committing $500 million each year over ten years for specialist domestic violence services, such as women’s shelters, crisis phone services and perpetrator programs, totalling $5 billion.

“This would be delivered under a new National Partnership Agreement on Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women between the federal government and all States and Territories.

“Our $5 billion commitment to front line specialist domestic violence services is in addition to our previously announced commitment to double federal funding for homelessness programs, to $827 million per year, and our commitments on affordable housing.

“Our funding for homelessness programs includes at least $100 million over 2 years for the construction of new homeless shelters and women’s shelters.

“Today’s package also contains a $60 million commitment to put safety first in family law.

“This includes supporting specialist domestic violence Courts, placing domestic violence specialists in Family Court registries to assist at-risk parties and reforms to the Family Law Act.

“We will provide guaranteed funding and $144 million additional funds over 4 years for the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Services.

“We will also improve rights at work for women facing domestic violence, with 10 days of paid domestic violence leave for all workers under the National Employment Standards.

“Our package protects against discrimination at work on the basis of domestic violence and extends the right to request flexible working arrangements to those affected by domestic violence.

“The old parties’ election commitments on domestic violence funding are dangerously low, with the Coalition providing $200 million to domestic violence services and Labor announcing $135 million over four years.

“Australia can fund domestic violence services so no woman is turned away, by raising revenue from those who can afford to pay their fair share, for example through reforming negative gearing, the capital gains discount and superannuation taxation.

“Why should women fleeing domestic violence go homeless, while the very wealthy get taxpayer-funded subsidies for their multiple investment homes?

“We Greens have the courage and compassion to solve the nation’s shameful domestic violence crisis by making sure no woman is turned away when she bravely reaches out for help to survive,” Senator Waters said.

Contact: Monique Vandeleur 0419 626 725

Summary:

The Greens’ plan (PDF icon 20160526 Confronting our DV crisis_final.pdf) with $2.2 billion in funding over the first 4 years will:

  • Create a new ten-year, $5 billion National Partnership Agreement on Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women to specialist services such as crisis phone services, women’s shelters, training for service providers, counselling, perpetrator interventions, and other specialist domestic violence services.
  • Roll out more effective perpetrator interventions including men’s behaviour change programs and early intervention “system design” programs worth $128 million over 4 years within the new National Partnership Agreement.
  • Fund a national peak body for specialist domestic violence services with $8 million over 4 years.
  • Spend $100 million over 2 years on capital works for crisis accommodation to build more shelters, premises or other projects as required to make sure no-one is left without a place to stay.
  • Commit to increased funding for legal assistance, by at least $200 million per year, including $144 million over 4 years and secure long term funding for Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, and increased funding for CLCs, Legal Aid and ATSILS. The Greens’ full Access to Justice package will be announced in the coming weeks.
  • Support State and Territory governments who chose to roll out specialist domestic violence courts with $5 million over 2 years.
  • Make family law safe, with a $60 million package to implement the Safety First in Family Law plan from Women’s Legal Services Australia.
  • Support young people who are victims of violence.
  • Build long-term affordable housing to clear the bottleneck in the system, as part of the Greens’ National Housing Roadmap including immediate construction of 14,500 affordable dwellings funded by changes to negative gearing.
  • Make our workplaces safe by providing 10 days of paid domestic violence leave as a right for every worker.
  • A comprehensive plan for primary prevention of violence and gender equality to be announced in the coming weeks.