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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3136 ..

Gendered violence is an issue that touches people from all walks of life in our community. The growing national conversation has further strengthened the ACT government’s response to gendered violence, which is shown in the commitments made in this budget. The safer families levy gives the community a tangible way to contribute to frontline services and violence prevention. It further raises awareness of the issue by being visible on people’s rates notices each year.

Since the establishment of the levy in 2016, the ACT government has built a dedicated response to domestic and family violence. This has proved effective in delivering services and programs to respond to violence. Funding from the levy will be prioritised to both community and frontline service delivery to ensure that people who are experiencing domestic and family violence and sexual assaults in the ACT are appropriately supported.

DR PATERSON: Minister, how will the increase to the safer families levy prioritise frontline service delivery?

MS BERRY: In addition to the existing funding for these services, the increase to the safer families levy will fund a range of expanded programs. In particular, this is going to the frontline service delivery by both government and community services. This includes: $2.2 million over four years for more frontline domestic violence and rape crisis services through the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre and the Domestic Violence Crisis Service to meet increased service demand; $4.1 million over four years for the health justice partnership program, consisting of much-needed lawyers across legal aid and women’s legal centres to help women presenting in health and hospital settings and for the evaluation of this program; $1.4 million over four years, including provisioned funding of $698,000 in 2023 and 2024-25 for the safer families collaboration program, which consists of two full-time staff in the Domestic Violence Crisis Service working with our ACT Child and Youth Protection Services as well as funding for the Safe and Together Institute to deliver specialised capability building to frontline child protection workers; and $249,000 for the family violence safety action pilot, which is a really important program to expand integrated casework capacity and coordinated effort to meet the increased demand on services to better respond to the needs of high-risk families.

MRS KIKKERT: How much of the safer families levy is going directly to supporting men who are victims of domestic violence?

MS BERRY: Funding goes to the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, which supports all victims of domestic and family violence.

Mental health services—consumer feedback

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Mental Health. Given the large number of people who have concerns regarding their and their loved ones’ experiences in the acute mental health system in the ACT, have you or are you developing a feedback or complaints mechanism for clients across the acute mental health system and their carers to make improvements to the experiences of clients in these facilities?

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