Community facilities | November 30, 2017

Kealy - Family violence service gap in western Victoria

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP is appalled at Daniel Andrews’ disregard for country women through his refusal to address the significant family violence service gap that exists in western Victoria.

“Western Victoria has some of the highest rates of family violence and yet the Andrews Labor Government has only allocated one support and safety hub for almost a quarter of the State to support women seeking urgent help to escape violent family situations. This is totally unacceptable, but unfortunately what we’ve come to expect from this city-centric Labor Government,” Ms Kealy said.

Following the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Government announced one Family Violence Support and Safety Hub for each Department of Health and Human Services(DHHS) region. The local Western region of DHHS covers almost one-quarter of the state and stretches from Brim to Warrnambool.

Since this announcement in March 2016, Ms Kealy has raised her concerns with multiple Labor Ministers and in Parliament regarding poor access to family violence support services and the inadequacy of just one support and safety hub for the huge area of western Victoria.

Most recently Ms Kealy reiterated her concerns to the Special Minister of State, Hon. Gavin Jennings, but after three long months the Labor Minister has failed to respond or even acknowledge this important request to support the women of western Victoria.

“I am aware that there have also been numerous approaches to the Government by local agencies who deal with the effects of family violence every day, but Daniel Andrews’ Labor Government continually refuses to acknowledge the significant service gap”, Ms Kealy said.

“The importance of this issue was demonstrated last week through the local White Ribbon walk against violence which attracted huge community support, making it clear that violence against women will not be tolerated in our country communities.

“The Government’s decision to only have one support and safety hub in our enormous region and the Minister’s lack of response to local concerns demonstrates complete disregard for western Victorian women.

“Just because women live in the country doesn’t mean they don’t deserve access to family violence support services.

“Labor continues to fail country women, and our women deserve better,” she said.

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