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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 March 2015) . . Page.. 701 ..

triage and prioritise clients, which often means they are only able to support families in crisis. I think that is the point: even for the services that we have locally that have been funded and run by the ACT government, it should not be suggested that those services are not equally under pressure. They dealt with 15,644 calls to the crisis line in 2013-14. That is up from 13,900 in the year before. That is a significant increase. They provided direct intervention for 1,408 people, and that is up by about 400 since 2012-13—a significant increase.

We know that emergency housing is another area of significant pressure here in the ACT. We need to make sure there is sufficient emergency housing. I know that many in the community sector have been calling for an increase in emergency housing.

The work that has been done in the ACT and the impact of the budgetary decisions in the ACT are important, but we also need to make sure that we are aware of the work that is being done nationally. This body of work has been going on for some time. I refer to the Australian Law Reform Commission report on family violence, and also to the national plan to reduce violence against women and their children 2010-22.

There are various iterations of that plan. I do not have time to go through those now, but I commend it to members of this Assembly: get on the website, have a look at that plan, the various iterations of it and the roundtables that were conducted federally, because the issues that affect families in Queanbeyan, Brisbane or WA are often very similar to the issues here. We can certainly learn from other jurisdictions and see what they are doing. If we can, wherever possible, take a national, coordinated response across the jurisdictions, that would be a very positive thing.

I would like to again thank the minister for bringing this motion forward today. I acknowledge the work this government is doing, and I will talk more about that in speaking to my motion tomorrow. I commend that work. But there is always more that can be done, and while we have this on the agenda, both locally and nationally, let us take that opportunity and work together as an Assembly and as a community to make sure we tackle the horrific issue of domestic violence head on.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (11.47): I begin by welcoming the Attorney-General’s statement and, indeed, this motion this morning. I am very pleased to speak in support of what Minister Corbell has outlined today.

There is no doubt that domestic and family violence concerns us all and it is the case that we can no longer stand by and say, “It doesn’t happen in my family; therefore there’s nothing else I need to do.” The door of the family home can no longer be a barrier that allows the wider community to ignore or excuse acts of violence committed behind it. This is everyone’s responsibility because, ultimately, it affects us all. It has a corrosive effect on our entire community and it eats away at what our community could and should be.

In the simplest terms, it means that victims cannot reach their full potential and contribution in life. In its most extreme form, it rips away from us people who

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