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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (9 June) . .

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MR COE: Minister, does Housing ACT simply assume that all public housing properties comply. If not, how frequently are audits conducted?

MS BERRY: I refer the member to my previous answer.

Budget—family violence measures

MR HINDER: My question is to the Minister for Women. Minister, how does the 2016 budget improve responses to family, domestic and sexual violence across the entire service system in the ACT?

MS BERRY: I thank the member for the question. Domestic, family and sexual violence is confronting stuff for all of us, but I have been pleased with the way that our community has responded to the major response which was announced in the ACT government's budget on Tuesday. It shows that we as a community, Canberrans, understand that we all have a role to play in responding to this problem.

The 2016 ACT budget is a landmark step forward in the next phase of the reform of the way our service system addresses family, domestic and sexual violence. The budget commits more than $21 million to respond to family violence, the largest new funding initiative in the ACT's history in this area.

But it is more than just a new investment. It is a reform of the way our community works together to tackle family and domestic violence. An investment of $2.6 million will fund the development and implementation of centralised and integrated case management and case coordination for families who have experienced family violence. It will be located within a family safety hub. The ACT government will work with domestic violence services to co-design the family safety hub, along with relevant directorates and other stakeholders.

In addition to working with our front-line non-government services, we are increasing funding. An additional $416,000 over four years will be allocated to the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre and an additional $830,000 over four years to the Domestic Violence Crisis Service. The budget increased funding of $996,000 over four years for third-party interpreter services. This funding responds to cuts made by the federal government to this vital service. It will make sure that people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have fair access to the ACT law courts and tribunal as well as specialist ACT family and domestic violence services. These programs continue the work that we have done but also build on it. The safer families package response also includes new programs such as the provision of $145,000 to consult with people with disabilities, family carers and providers about restrictive practices and how we improve the way in which they are implemented. $770,000 to train front-line workers in services right across our community is also an important step in achieving the system and cultural change that is needed.

The government has thought very carefully about this response and the decision to fund it through a levy. We know how important funding is to the organisations that have been doing this work for decades and we are committed to making sure that they can support women and children experiencing violence while working to address its causes.


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