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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 August 2015) . . Page.. 2617 ..

Additional funding of $250,000 for three key domestic and anti-sexual violence services—the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre and the Canberra Men’s Centre—has been provided. Although I am the first to say that we need to work on real and life-changing outcomes for any women living with domestic violence or being subjected to sexual or any other kind of violence, I am glad to see this commitment and I am sure it will be used to improve the lives of women.

However, the hub-and-spoke method that the previous minister has implemented for services for women has left women with no central point to get help or advice when they need it. There is a claim that in the city there is a library with resources of books for women, although it is worth mentioning that that library is behind a screen which is permanently locked and that if women want to peruse the set of books they need to ask for a key. How they know that the books are there, I am not sure. It seems to be a bit of a joke.

There is also a stand of brochures at the top of the stairs at the Theo Notaras centre but there is not so much as a chair to sit on. I do not know how many women hang around at the top of the stairs looking for the resources that they need, but I would be surprised if they knew that it was there. So it is pretty hard to recognise that it is a source of information and referral for women. It is a very basic attempt to provide the service that was provided by the Women’s Information and Referral Centre.

The Women’s Information and Referral Centre gave women a one-stop shop to seek help or referral where they knew they would see a friendly face and could seek help at any time. They now have to visit the community and child health centres and hope that they are there at a time when it is staffed.

The collection of data on phone calls into the Office for Women also does not seem to be happening; there used to be a hotline through WIRC. So we do not have a clear picture of who is accessing the services, what help or advice they are seeking and whether the office is able to provide them with what they actually want. There is not so much as a record of the number of conversations being had with women in the community or on the helpline. Without any accurate records it is difficult to know whether the government is providing appropriate services or assisting women any more than any other community group or service.

I implore the new minister to ensure that accurate data is collected on what advice is being sought and delivered and what outcomes women are achieving. I implore the minister to make clear the amount of money being spent on women in the ACT and improving their outcomes. We need to ensure that the outcomes for women are genuinely at the forefront of these services and that the services are appropriately targeted; otherwise the government are just spending taxpayers’ money to say they are doing “something” for women and it could easily be wasteful.

On the multicultural portfolio, which is also held within this output class—the Office of Multicultural Affairs—I have some concerns about the allocation of money for child care for women who are accessing English courses. Studies within my office have shown that one of the greatest reasons that women do not access English at a

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