Page 1966 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 June 2015

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These investments have been the focus of the social inclusion statement, but there are many more programs throughout our budget and across government that seek to make sure that everybody can be part of the life of this city. In particular, I am proud to be part of a government that is investing $495,000 to continue the successful flexible bus service.

I have lived in Belconnen all my life. I live there because it is where I feel connected—to people, to places and to the local landscape. This government believes that wherever you live—in the Lanyon Valley, Dickson or west Belco, like me—illness, age, disability or disadvantage should not force you to move from your community. Our investment in public transport, and especially flexible transport options, means that all Canberrans can stay connected and access the services that they need.

The flexible bus service reflects what our social inclusion agenda is about. It is about valuing the communities that people build for themselves, it is about giving people the support they need to get involved and it is about making sure Canberrans have access to great services when they need them, no matter where they live.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what resources are being delivered to support the inclusion of women and children experiencing domestic violence?

MS BERRY: Recent domestic violence-related homicides in the ACT have drawn attention to the brutal reality of domestic violence. This budget focuses on working with our whole community to tackle this issue, from prevention through crisis responses to post-violence support. I want to emphasise the importance of a $250,000 increase in funding to our excellent domestic and sexual violence crisis services. These services build women up and support them while they go through an often long and difficult process of leaving violence.

Expanding the capacity of the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre and the Canberra Men’s Centre will assist women to build their confidence and engage with their community. This comes on top of the $3.3 million already spent to fund specialist domestic and sexual violence services. This funding will assist with the spike in service demand we can expect as we work with the federal government to deliver a $30 million education and prevention campaign.

We are also building the foundations of a safer community by delivering $615,000 in funding for ACT public schools to provide kids with the skills to build respectful relationships, which builds on the $300,000 already committed for the domestic violence data framework, women’s safety grants and funding to assist the Domestic Violence Prevention Council. We are funding these ongoing and new initiatives to help our community become the kind of place where no-one is excluded or isolated by violence.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

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