Page 712 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 17 March 2015

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work at Melaleuca Place is to provide a sense of stability and safety, the time and space to heal and recover from exposure to traumatic events, including those associated with domestic violence, and move towards achieving a more positive life experience.

Also, I have been an active member of White Ribbon and an ambassador since 2004, and I would like to recognise the White Ribbon ambassadors here in the chamber today and advise them that 158,000 other ambassadors have their back in this work. The White Ribbon Foundation is about men standing up to violence against women. During the time that I have worked with White Ribbon and stakeholders and the community, we have raised awareness of domestic violence and we have called on men to take action against it.

There is an important message with White Ribbon, and that is that, while we can provide many support services for families and victims, we must put effective pressure on the perpetrator. White Ribbon and the Canberra Men’s Centre do just this with the working with the man program. I want to congratulate them as well as all the White Ribbon organisers and ambassadors for their ongoing work.

The effects of domestic violence are far reaching, not just for the immediate victim but also for their children. Services such as Melaleuca Place are extremely important if we are to be able to repair the damage caused by domestic violence in the lives of our children and young people. I commend the trauma recovery program and the hard work of the Community Services Directorate for the life-changing work that it does.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (12.27), in reply: I would like to thank all members for their contribution to this debate. I would like to thank the Leader of the Opposition for his support for this motion and for his colleagues’ support, and my own colleagues and Minister Rattenbury for spelling out the importance not only of stating our commitment as a government, as an Assembly, as a community in responding to the issue of domestic violence but also for unanimously stating that the impact of funding cuts by the federal government to our community legal sector, to our Legal Aid Commission, is going to have a significant impact on some of the most vulnerable in our community, some of the most isolated in our community and those women and children, in particular, who are the victims and who are suffering right now from the impacts of violence in their home, a place where they should feel or are entitled to feel the most safe.

During the debate I was reviewing a media report—and it popped up during the debate in a very timely way—that today four senior staff from a community legal centre in Broken Hill have resigned because of the uncertainty created by the commonwealth’s funding cut decisions to community legal centres. It was a stark and timely reminder of the impact on community legal sectors of the commonwealth’s funding cuts.

I am very pleased that across the country all state and territory attorneys have said we cannot let these cuts stand and we cannot bear them in our own budgets or via our own capacity to support responses to needs for community legal support, including

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