Federal Budget Forgets Family Violence Victims

04 May 2016

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has forgotten the biggest law and order crisis in this country, with minimal investment in family violence in last night’s 2016/2017 Federal Budget.

Last year upon coming to power, Mr Turnbull rightly said family violence was a ``national disgrace’’ that had been overlooked for too long. His own press release called for ``urgent action’’.

Just last month his Government’s COAG Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence Against Women said family violence was pervasive and it was vital that any response had ``appropriate resourcing’’.

However, the Federal Budget gives little more than $100 million over three years to address family violence, even though PwC Australia estimates that in 2014-2015 it cost the Australian economy $12.6 billion.

Family violence is a national emergency. At least 29 women Australia-wide have been killed so far this year by violent partners. Last year 79 women died.

The small investment by the Federal Government is to be compared with the Andrews Labor Government’s $572 million in the Victorian Budget 2016/17 to begin the urgent work needed to overhaul Victoria’s family violence system from the bottom up.

This investment is a down-payment on a ten-year plan to reduce family violence.

Today is National Domestic Violence Remembrance Day. As Victorians gather tonight for the annual Safe Steps candlelight vigil to remember the women who have lost their lives, we want Mr Turnbull and the Coalition government to join us in ending the harm of family violence.

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson

“All governments no matter their political colour have a responsibility to help bring down the tragic toll of family violence in this country.’’

“Ending the harm of family violence enjoys bipartisan support here in Victoria, but we need local, state and federal governments to all play their part.”

“Strong words and good intentions will never be enough to reduce the rate of family violence in Australia. We need significant investment as well, and this year’s Federal Budget falls well short of that.’’

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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