Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 March 2015) . . Page.. 698 ..

can negotiate them; to commit to no further cuts to our community legal centres, our legal aid commissions and our Aboriginal legal services; to make sure that future funding is indexed to recognise increases in population growth; and to negotiate with the states and territories in good faith.

Consistent with the discussion we have had this morning already, we need to work collaboratively on the issue of domestic and family violence. We cannot afford a situation where we have to have that discussion and see reductions in funding to those services that support the most vulnerable.

This is an important motion today and I urge members to give it their full support.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.32): I thank the minister both for his ministerial statement earlier and for the motion that he has brought before the Assembly today. I indicate that the Assembly will be supporting the motion and that we also support the intent of the statement that was made by the minister.

As I have indicated publicly over the last week or so, the opposition will be offering the government a bipartisan approach on the very important issue of domestic violence. There are many issues that the Labor Party and the Liberal Party will battle on, will fight on, will have a contest of ideas on, but the issue of domestic violence is something that we need to get together on, to make sure that we are doing everything, both in this place and in the community, to eradicate domestic violence.

Domestic violence ruins lives. We are not in a place here where we would ever seek to turn a blind eye or do anything but our utmost to combat this problem. I think that we have an opportunity because of events that have happened nationally—the appointment of the Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty; the fact that it is on the COAG agenda in July; and the terribly tragic events that we have seen in the ACT in recent weeks. There is no doubt that the whole community is behind the greater push and the greater drive towards eradicating domestic violence. Certainly I think there is an opportunity to take steps forward in this area.

We need to change our approach to domestic violence. We need to do more. It is not just about a bit of resourcing here or resourcing there or changes to legislation. It is about a cultural change as well, in our whole community. This does require leadership. Certainly I applaud the government for the steps that they are taking and the steps that they have taken. I would contend there is always more that can be done, and I am sure that the government would agree that there is always more that can be done. I hope that together in this place we can make sure that that is done, because the statistics on domestic violence are horrific. And it is not just against women. Women, no doubt, form a significantly higher proportion of the victims, but it involves men as well and it involves children.

One woman dies every week from domestic violence in Australia. In New South Wales, using their statistics, 24 women were killed last year in domestic-related incidents and, of all homicides in New South Wales, 42 per cent are of a domestic nature. One woman is hospitalised every three hours across the country. They are

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video