Page 4547 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 31 October 2018

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Under the new arrangements, a person no longer has to apply for a rental bond loan to be eligible. The range of assistance that a person can apply for includes legal costs, pet care, mortgage and rental payments and other costs associated with establishing or sustaining a family home. The revised program also expands the referral pathways to now include private, community, government and social, health and justice sector agencies that work with people to address the impact of family violence, as well as the Domestic Violence Crisis Service.

MS CODY: Minister, what else is the government doing to provide early support to families who may be impacted by family violence?

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Cody for the supplementary question. The insights gathered through the co-design for the family safety hub have prompted the government to think differently about the role of the hub in the ACT, which was officially launched on 11 May this year. The family safety hub is a network for collaboration and innovation for lasting change. It brings the right people together to work through a series of challenges, an exploration of what might be possible, each challenge aiming to see how we can provide better help earlier. The hub fosters sharing understanding, builds capability, delivers new or improved pathways and ensures system cohesion.

The family safety hub has now undertaken its first challenge around how we might prevent and intervene early in domestic and family violence for pregnant women and new parents. Nearly 60 ideas were developed by the community sector. The Coordinator-General for Family Safety and the family safety hub are actively exploring two of these ideas to see whether they have the potential to address the challenge. The best of these solutions will be piloted and improved. Effective pilots may be scaled up and embedded across the service system. I am happy to say that we are just weeks away from launching our first pilot, which will partner with a range of government and non-government organisations to assist new parents and pregnant women who may be facing violence and need help.

MS ORR: Minister, why is sustained, real investment by government in these types of services so important?

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Orr for her supplementary. We can see the benefits that the additional $21 million is providing to our community. We have more front-line service provision, more new services and greater thinking around solutions.

Of course, the ACT cannot do this work alone. Earlier this year, a national consultation kicked off to develop the fourth action plan for reducing violence against women. The ACT government has been working in partnership with the commonwealth in facilitating local consultations with our sector over July and August.

In early October I led an ACT delegation of government, community service and persons with lived experience of violence to the COAG reducing violence against women summit in Adelaide. The summit provided the opportunity for all jurisdictions to come together to consider the approach and priorities for inclusion in the fourth action plan.

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