We asked the candidates running in the ACT election what they planned to do to eliminate domestic and family violence.
Here's the response from the Liberal Party:
The Canberra Liberals are deeply committed to reducing and preventing domestic violence in our community. We are pleased that here in the ACT there is bipartisan support for eliminating the scourge of domestic violence.
Our work in this area demonstrates our commitment. On 18 March 2015, Jeremy Hanson MLA, Shadow Attorney-General, moved a motion in the Legislative Assembly on domestic violence, calling on the ACT Government to hold a bipartisan roundtable to identify ways to tackle domestic and family violence in the ACT. Following Mr Hanson’s motion, the Domestic Violence Prevention Council (DVPC) Extraordinary Meeting was held on 2 April 2015. This roundtable assisted the DVPC to identify the key issues in the ACT relating to addressing domestic and family violence, including sexual assault.
Recently, following the airing of the ABC’s Behind Closed Doors program about the ACT Care and Protection system and the tragic deaths of two children, we called on the ACT Government to provide adequate funding for the Public Advocate of the ACT. The Public Advocate needs adequate resources and funding to be able to fulfil its role in making sure the rights and interests of vulnerable people in our community are protected.
ACT Policing are the front line of responding to domestic violence in our community, and their funding was cut by the Labor-Greens Government. The Canberra Liberals have committed to restoring the full $15 million Andrew Barr MLA cut from ACT Policing. This funding will help ACT Policing to continue their vital work.
The Canberra Liberals will commit to providing a single, dedicated court to deal with the ACT’s domestic violence cases – to ensure consistency and higher expertise in the area. We want to build a level of expertise within the court so that all the matters that are heard and when people are appearing before a magistrate, they can go there with confidence, knowing that the magistrate understands what they're experiencing and has had the expertise and the built up knowledge and the consistency across the board.
The Canberra Liberals have already announced our community sector support package, which includes important elements to support women leaving violence. This package has three initiatives:
- $800,000 for the Communities@Work Reach Home Program. This program provides critical accommodation to women and families escaping domestic violence situations and deserves further support
- Removing the 0.34 percent Community Sector Reform Levy, thereby allowing community sector organisations, including those in the domestic and family violence sector, to put more money where it’s needed – into front line services.
- Removing red tape that inhibits organisations who want to provide short-term emergency accommodation.
We are, and will remain, deeply passionate about reform in this area and will work with key stakeholders to address shortfalls and areas of need, especially for preventative programs.
Jeremy Hanson CSC MLA
Leader of the Opposition
Nicole Lawder MLA
Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services