At the same time as Daniel Andrews announced he would spend $40 million on a Royal Commission into Family Violence, Labor’s policy costing document released two days before the election shows Labor plan to cut funding for family violence prevention and support services next year by more than $15.5 million, including:
• educational support for children affected by family violence
• crisis accommodation support
• access to support services…
• family violence protection for Aboriginal women
• Multi-Disciplinary Centres
• local prevention and coordination programs
• statewide behaviour change program
• crime prevention initiatives
• targeted programs for offenders in correctional settings
• Legal Aid funding.
It was a disgrace that Labor tried to conceal these cuts from public scrutiny by releasing details buried at the end of their policy costing document.
If these cuts go ahead, they will see an end to the statewide program to change attitudes and behaviour about family violence, an end to crime prevention initiatives directed at family violence, and big reductions in programs to better protect vulnerable women and children.
If Labor is to have any credibility in relation to tackling family violence, the first task of the new Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence must be to reverse the cuts and ensure these vital services can continue.