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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 24 August 2017) . . Page.. 3374 ..


I was therefore satisfied when the estimates committee made three important recommendations. First, that the government support specific primary and secondary prevention strategies; second, that the government establish accountability targets for specific prevention and early intervention measures and report on these quarterly; and, third, that the government provide a detailed breakdown of expenditures clearly identifying funds used for prevention and early intervention and those used for crisis response.

The government agreed to the first recommendation, which it certainly should have. Regarding the second recommendation, the government has agreed only in part, rejecting the requirement to report to the Assembly quarterly in favour of an annual report. I look forward to seeing these accountability targets for prevention and early intervention and I hope that they will be prepared with reasonable haste. I also remind this government that these targets will need to be robust in their explanatory power.

The third recommendation was agreed to in principle. I thank the government for providing in its response a reasonably detailed breakdown of expenditures. I understand the government’s explanation that creating such a breakdown can be a complex process since prevention measures may, for example, be embedded as a small part of other initiatives. At the same time, I wish to point out that according to the breakdown provided, specific prevention and early intervention initiatives currently receive only one-fifth of the entire funding in the safer families package.

On this point, I wish to remind this Assembly what the government stated in its May 2016 response to family violence report:

The ACT Government’s response to addressing family violence needs to shift from being largely crisis-driven to prevention and early intervention … The Glanfield Inquiry, Death Review and Gap Analysis identified—

They all identified—

the need to shift the focus of the service system to prevention and early intervention.

I would say that this budget suggests we are not there yet. In fact, it would seem to both the YWCA and to me that we have a very long way to go. As in a number of areas, including those I addressed last week, it appears that this government finds it much easier to talk about prevention and early intervention measures than it does actually to shift its focus there. At least now we have the data and the promise of accountability targets. I will be keeping my eye on both to make sure that this government does not fail in its stated promise to make prevention and early intervention a priority in the area of family safety.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (4.00): I too take the opportunity to speak on this item, particularly around domestic and family violence and the ACT government’s


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