Mark Dreyfus MP

Member for Isaacs
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Scott Morrison's Cruel Broken Promise On Domestic Violence Funding

27 October 2021

The Prime Minister’s promise of extra funding to fight domestic violence has been exposed as yet another heartless con.

TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN

MARK DREYFUS
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER 
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES AND THE PREVENTION OF FAMILY VIOLENCE 
 
 
SCOTT MORRISON’S CRUEL BROKEN PROMISE ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FUNDING

The Prime Minister’s promise of extra funding to fight domestic violence has been exposed as yet another heartless con.
 
In the 2021 Budget the Government specifically promised:

…$129.0 million in additional legal assistance funding to women’s legal centres to help women access justice. This funding will be directed to women’s legal centres, to enable these providers to respond to increasing demand for domestic violence assistance. 

But at Senate Estimates last night, the Morrison-Joyce Government couldn’t confirm whether a single cent had been delivered to a Women’s Legal Service.
 
The Attorney-General confirmed to Estimates it was yet another Morrison-Joyce Government con. Yet another announcement with no delivery.

 SENATOR JENNY McALLISTER: Well minister the advice that your official has just provided is that this money does not have to go to Community Legal Services that specialise in women's services. In fact, it can go to any number of services. But your press release said this funding will be directed to women's legal centres.
 
SENATOR MICHAELIA CASH: Women's legal centres, and I think the misunderstanding was it wasn't to Women's Legal Centres, capital W, capital L, capital C, it was women's legal services to women, including those experiencing or risk of family violence.
 
SENATOR JENNY McALLISTER: That's not actually what your press release says is it minister. It's very different isn't it? Like there's an announcement and a press release and then there's the actual reality?
 
Senate Estimates, 26 October 2021

When hundreds of thousands of Australians took to the streets to demand justice, and better support to keep women safe, the Prime Minister refused to meet them, and told them they should be grateful they had not been shot.
 
Following a massive public backlash over his behaviour, and under enormous public pressure to act after ignoring women’s safety for eight years, the Government rushed together a package in the May Budget. 
 
Now we find it was yet another con. Yet another cruel trick designed solely to produce an announcement, but with no intention to actually deliver when the need for action has never been greater.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the intensity and severity of domestic violence. Last year, half the vulnerable women seeking legal assistance were getting turned away as services struggled to keep up with demand.
 
Australian women need real support, not this heartless trick.
 
WEDNESDAY, 27 OCTOBER 2021