Page 3345 - Week 09 - Thursday, 24 August 2017

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I welcome, and will be very interested in, the pilot being undertaken by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Association and trust that, if it is successful, funds will be allocated in the next budget for its continued rollout.

I am pleased that the ACT government is committed to supporting its own employees who are experiencing family violence through leave provisions which I note the federal government has not agreed to. The family violence toolkit is a useful resource for employees and is a reminder that family violence can happen in any family context, even including the families of our public servants. The coordinator-general and safer families team was a welcome development in 2016-17. Promotion of new cross-directorate ways of working is necessary if we are to regard family violence and sexual assault as whole-of-government and community issues.

I welcome the additional resources for the Public Advocate’s office to better protect children and young people and deliver enhanced monitoring of the provision of statutory services. This is much needed for them to be able to undertake their role effectively.

Whilst all these initiatives, including various legal reforms, are welcome and positive, I note that the additional funding of $2.2 million in 2017-18 is to be allocated to progress the development of the family hub. I would like to emphasise that the family hub must focus on a better connected system, including with community and homelessness organisations, for it to be fully effective or meet the vision that was outlined in the various reports that instigated the $21.4 million investment in this area in the previous budget.

I appreciate that there are a lot of initiatives in this area. Obviously, I cannot speak on them all, but I note, and support in this instance, the estimates committee call for a detailed breakdown of expenditure in the safer families package in terms of what funds are used for prevention and early intervention and crisis responses. I am pleased that this has been agreed to in principle in the government’s response to the report. I am very pleased at this continuing expenditure.

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (12.29): I am very pleased to be speaking about the government’s safer families package, which is supported with additional funding this year for the co-design of the family safety hub. This package takes concrete steps to address family violence and build support services across both government and community organisations.

The ACT government and the wider community continue to keep the horror of family violence in their line of sight. I am proud of how this measure will improve the lives of many in our community. By bolstering awareness of family violence and the capacity of local services, the ACT is bringing family violence, in all its forms, out of the shadows. The government recognises that death, trauma and serious injury caused by a loved one cause emotional, economic and social havoc. The death of each victim from family violence is a loss to our society. So long as it continues to linger, it undermines our position as caring, respectful and engaged people.

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