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Done deal: Both sides of politics back domestic violence commission


The federal government and opposition have both promised a commissioner to oversee the prevention of violence against women and children.

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The coalition will spend $22.4 million over five years on a commission looking at domestic, family and sexual violence under the next national plan to keep women and children safe.

“The next national plan will be an ambitious blueprint to end violence against women and children but it must be more than words,” Minister for Women Marise Payne said.

Labor simultaneously announced it would appoint a commissioner to co-ordinate gendered violence prevention should it win power at next year’s federal election.

It also pledged to spend $153.4 million over four years on 500 additional workers to support women in crisis.

Half of those community sector workers would be based in rural and regional Australia.

“One of the things that always strikes me when I see these statistics is that people that I know and you know must be engaged in this (violence),” Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese told reporters at Queanbeyan.

“During my life, I have been shocked by the fact that that has occurred within families that I know.

“It’s a devastating crisis; it’s one that we all have a responsibility to address.”

Under Labor’s proposal, the family, domestic and sexual violence commissioner would report yearly on progress under successive national plans to stop violence.

They would also help co-ordinate consistent access to support services across the country, and work with states, territories and Commonwealth agencies to ensure there was the necessary data to get the money to where it is needed most.

Albanese accused the Morrison government of failing to adequately fund support services and accommodation.

He said women’s refuges turn away up to half the women who seek help, while only one in 10 women who wanted to remain in their homes safely had the necessary support to do so.

Extra funding would be used to provide shelters with an additional case manager and community organisations with a financial counsellor.

Specialist women’s services would also be able to hire a support worker to help children work through trauma.

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