JENNY MCALLISTER - TRANSCRIPT - RADIO INTERVIEW - ABC CAPRICORNIA BREAKFAST WITH PAUL CULLIVER - WEDNESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2021
3.14pm | November 24, 2021
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
SHADOW CABINET SECRETARY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER TO THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES
AND THE PREVENTION OF FAMILY VIOLENCE
LABOR SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
RADIO INTERVIEW, ABC CAPRICORNIA BREAKFAST WITH PAUL CULLIVER
WEDNESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Women’s safety; Labor’s announcement for a Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Commissioner; Labor’s announcement for 500 new community sector workers.
PAUL CULLLIVER, HOST: Senator Jenny McAllister is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Communities and the Prevention of Family Violence. Senator Good morning to you.
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES AND THE PREVENTION OF FAMILY VIOLENCE LABOR SENATOR FOR NSW: Good morning Paul.
CULLLIVER: What does the ALP want to do in the space?
MCALLISTER: Well, Paul, every two minutes, the police receive a call out to attend a domestic violence incident. But all around the country services tell me that they actually had to turn away as many as half of the women who come to them looking for support. Labor's plan announced today by me and Mr Albanese, our leader, is that we will invest to generate 500 new jobs for community organisations, new workers on the ground on the frontline, who can stand with women when they reach out for support.
CULLLIVER: Right, where will they be?
MCALLISTER: Well, half of them will be placed into regional and rural communities. We know that these are often communities that are underserved and don't have the resources they need. I know that in your own community, you are still grieving the murder of Karen Gilliland, and that was a terrible, terrible incident. And it must have been a source of enormous trauma, actually, not just for her and her family, but actually for the whole community around her. We have to do better.
CULLLIVER: Just talk me through, so when you talk about creating those positions, this is about funding them?
MCALLISTER: That's right. So Labor will provide funding of $153 million, so that we can actually provide community organisations with the resources they need to put people on staff. Some of those positions will be training roles. We know that actually there's a shortage of skilled workers in this area. In a community like Rockhampton, it might mean that a person who wants a career in community services, helping women who are escaping violence, can actually have a paid role while they do their study or training.
CULLLIVER: How do you actually figure out which communities, which places, these jobs can be created and funded?
MCALLISTER: We'll step through that in government. We know that all around the country, the services tell us that they could do with an extra pair of hands. I haven't been to a service that doesn't tell me that they struggle to meet the demand. And of course, during the last year, the rate of violence, and the intensity of the violence that women are experiencing has increased very significantly.
CULLLIVER: I suppose it's important to talk about - because and you have it in your shadow ministerial portfolio 'prevention of family violence' - there's two factors here. There's the prevention, and then there is, and very importantly, how we react, how our society and how community can support someone, once fleeing that violence and dealing with the trauma and outcomes from that. I guess the question is, as well, what are you doing to try to prevent the family violence in this instance?
MCALLISTER: You are right Paul, that is so important. Labor set up the first National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children, and it had a real focus on prevention. One of the first elements of that plan was to set up Our Watch, which is the national prevention agency. It sets out a framework that all sorts of organisations can use to prevent violence. But unfortunately, that plan has really languished over the last eight years under this government. I can tell you at a personal level, that I see very little evidence of energy or ambition, in implementing this plan, and very little accountability for outcomes under the plan. It's too hard to get information about whether prevention activities are happening, about whether emergency response activities are happening or even recovery activities for women. And that's one of the reasons that Labor is also announcing a Domestic Violence Commissioner, who would have a role in keeping government accountable, tracking progress against that plan.
CULLLIVER: So if there is indeed the apathy in the Federal Government as you're describing there, then if Labor gets into government, you've got that power. What are the steps that you're wanting to take to try and re-energise that approach?
MCALLISTER: Well, I stood with our leader, Anthony Albanese this morning as we announced these 500 workers. He made it very clear that this will absolutely be a priority under Labor Government. The last Labor government took the important step of establishing a National Plan that would allow states and territories and the Commonwealth to work together. The next Labor Government will absolutely make sure that that plan delivers. It's unfortunate that that energy and ambition that Tanya Plibersek, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd brought to that first Plan didn't continue into the Abbott government.
CULLLIVER: You're hearing from Senator Jenny McAllister. She is Shadow Assistant Minister for Communities and the Prevention of Family Violence a day before the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women, both federal government and Labor announcing new policies to try to tackle domestic violence in this country.
Senator, can I ask you about, you have a $79 million investment to reduce incarceration rates for First Nations communities? Why is that part of this policy?
MCALLISTER: We know that investing money early in families that are experiencing hardship can make a real difference to whether or not members of those families become involved in criminal activity and ultimately are incarcerated. One of the things that is very destabilising for children is experiencing violence in their home. We've seen some very promising outcomes in some of the trials around the country. When you invest in reducing levels of violence in the home, you can create a stable environment for children and keep them out of the justice system. That's why these initiatives to invest money early can make a real difference.
CULLLIVER: Just what does success look like? What are we realistically, what are we trying to achieve here?
MCALLISTER: Our Watch have set up a framework that talks about how we might start to measure success. We want to see attitudes about violence towards women improve. Too many people still say that they think violence is acceptable under some circumstances. We want to see fewer women presenting to accident and emergency with horrific injuries inflicted by a partner. We do want to see the rate of death go down. But it's going to take a sustained effort over a long period of time. That's why we need national leadership. We need the Commonwealth to step up and play its role, bringing the states and territories together, and also business and community organisations, to get a whole of society attitudinal shift to the scourge of violence in our community.
CULLLIVER: Right, Senator appreciate your time today. Thank you.
MCALLISTER: Thanks so much Paul.
CULLLIVER: Senator Jenny McAlister shadow minister or shadow Assistant Minister, I should say for communities and the prevention of family violence with the ALP. I did put an invitation into the Minister for Women, Maurice Payne if she would like to join us on the program to talk about their policy announcements as well.