There is a strong community spirit in Lismore. People are cheerfully supporting one another, staffing evacuating centres, donating food and helping one another clean up. Emergency services and frontline workers are working around the clock. Thank you for everything you are doing.
But there have been tears too. The flood damage is enormous. Many of the people I met had lost both their home and their business. This community is resilient and caring but they have been through a lot. They are going to need our help.
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It was a great privilege to meet with these amazing domestic violence workers and advocates from Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula.
Their highly skilled workforce is going to need to grow in coming years. I was pleased to commit seven new community sectors workers for this region. These additional workers could help up to 560 women experiencing violence who might otherwise be turned away, and will help local services build the skilled workers they need.
Thanks to the ever-energetic Peta Murphy MP who has never faltered in advocating for women and children, and a world free of violence.
Wonderful to meet (along with Libby Coker MP) with Helen and her excellent team at the Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre in Geelong. We talked about Labor’s commitment to fund additional community sector workers to help women and children fleeing violence. Helen’s centre helps more than 5,000 women and children experiencing violence. But they need more staff, so no one seeking help is ever turned away.
NSW MP Janelle Saffin, Labor Candidate for Page Patrick Deegan and I met with Women Up North in Lismore. Women and children fleeing domestic violence are struggling to find safe and affordable accommodation in the Northern Rivers. Local community organisation, Women Up North do everything they can to find beds for victim- survivors. But with no government support they are struggling to keep up with demand. Local member, Kevin Hogan has failed his community - failing to provide funding for additional crisis accommodation.
This can’t continue. An Albanese Labor government will invest in safe, affordable crisis and long term housing for women fleeing violence and older women facing poverty.
Labor's candidate for Banks, Zhi Soon and I had the privilege of meeting with the team at Biyani House - Revesby Women's Shelter, a new shelter for women and children leaving domestic violence. They’ll soon open their doors to families needing shelter. It’s a great example of a community coming together to fund a safe place for women and children fleeing violence. However there’s so much more to do.
That’s why Labor will invest in crisis accommodation and affordable housing - building 30,000 new affordable homes, & reserving 4000 of them for women and children leaving violence.
Stephen Jones MP and I joined Illawarra Women’s Health Centre in Warilla at the launch of their report “A new model of care for women experiencing trauma from domestic, family and sexual violence.” The report details the need for a comprehensive and holistic response to violence that includes recovery for victim-survivors. It was an honour to join them on this special day and to hear from everyone who participated in the report.
Susan Templeman MP, welcomed Jason Clare MP and I to her electorate to visit the Women’s Cottage in Richmond. The Women's Cottage does incredible work support women and children escaping violence. The community has faced drought, flood, bushfires and covid. This has increased the prevalence, severity and intensity of violence. The workers at the Women’s Cottage have never been busier and local women have never needed them more. But like so many services across the country, government funding has not kept up with demand. Frontline workers are crying out for support. We have to do better and the federal government has a key role to play.