Page 152 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 14 December 2016

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Canberra landmarks also don orange, such as the Carillon, the Telstra Tower and the new Majura bridge.

Across the ACT there were a number of community events held—launches and morning teas—all enabling us to spread the 16 days message. Over the 16 days I was also able to talk at the launch of the women’s legal centre’s domestic violence program, which provides a service to women who have experienced domestic or family violence.

Last Friday I invited about 50 Canberrans, many of whom work on the front line to reduce violence in our community, to come together to celebrate how far we had come and to look to the progress that we needed in the future. As a final push, last week at COAG on 9 December, which was the last working day of the campaign, domestic and family violence was on the agenda. It is important that we keep this debate going—(Time expired.)

MS ORR: Minister, can you provide more information about the ACT’s safer families package?

MS BERRY: Thank you for the supplementary question on this important issue. As I said, through the 2016-17 budget we made the first big commitment to this area through a $21 million safer families package. This is how we plan to ultimately deliver a safer community for everyone. Importantly, we now have a dedicated minister to lead this issue.

We are already making some great progress through the delivery of the safer families package. In late November, we appointed the first full-time Coordinator-General for Family Safety to drive the cultural change and lead reform in partnership with government agencies, non-government services and the Canberra community. I know that this position has been well received in the community, and I look forward to hearing more good things as she progresses through the initiatives.

We have also commenced work on the development of the ACT’s first family safety hub, to provide a multi-agency service response, including safety risk assessments and safety plans, coordinated support, including case management and referral pathways, as well as information sharing. We know that creating this hub is complex and it will take some time to get it right, but I believe we are on the way to achieving the outcome that we want.

The office of the coordinator-general will be working across the government on this issue, and she will also engage with our state and federal counterparts to ensure that we are getting the best outcomes nationally. Having a dedicated portfolio clearly represents our commitment to addressing family violence and ensuring that our community continues to become safer for everyone. It also presents us with the opportunity to tackle this situation of violence once and for all: a whole-of-government and whole-community response. The ACT is a small but dynamic city, and I know that if any place can drive change for our vulnerable, particularly in this area of policy, the ACT can.

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