Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 November 2017) . . Page.. 4826 ..
I would like to talk about the important issue of family and domestic violence in this context of policing. Domestic violence remains a terrible problem in Australia. Of course we are not immune from that here in the ACT. We know that women continue to be subject to physical and sexual violence, and the statistics which we have had cited in this place many times are dismaying—figures such as the fact that one in three women will be subject to violence in their lifetime. There are many other examples. Again we know that domestic and family violence ripples through the community in substantial ways. As a community we need to work hard to change and shape the underlying community values that shape the social context in which domestic and family violence occurs. We have already acknowledged that the rates of family violence are not dropping, and that it is something that is pervasive in our community.
It is pleasing to see that the government has provided funding to increase ACT Policing’s capacity to respond to an increase in the reporting of family and domestic violence incidents. This increase in reporting, I think, is widely accepted. It partly reflects the growing focus in family violence at both a national level and a local level. The government is investing $1.18 million over four years in the 2016-17 safer families package to employ two dedicated order liaison officers, or OLOs, to assist applicants applying for family violence orders. There is also funding to employ a dedicated female Aboriginal liaison officer to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
When we look at the underlying drivers of domestic violence we know that our attitudes to women must change if we are to ensure that women can live safely, and those attitudes are not changing fast enough. The ACT Greens are extremely pleased to see additional resources being given to police to address this critically important issue.
To conclude, whilst I do not agree with the way Mrs Jones’s motion has been expressed today, I do, as I say, underline the important role that police play in community safety in the territory. I do not think the motion accurately reflects what is occurring through the budget or the ongoing discussions between ACT Policing and other parts of government about the best way to structure the organisation and to realise savings and efficiencies. I do not think it is reasonable to come into this place and suggest one particular agency, above all others, should be immune from the requirement to find efficiencies where they can be made. As Mr Gentleman’s amendment has indicated, there is currently a funded and detailed process going on to examine those issues. On that broad basis, the Greens will be supporting the amendment moved by Mr Gentleman today.
MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (3.34): I thank the government for their amendment. However, given that it essentially takes out the need for the government to respond and come back to this place and explain why ACT Policing is expected to undertake more work with fewer resources, the government should ensure that funding at least keeps up with inflation, which, despite what Mr Rattenbury wants to make out, is not a request for more money. Ask the union movement how they maintain their wage