MCALLISTER & HILL - MEDIA RELEASE - QUESTIONS OVER WHY LIBERALS FAILED TO FUND CRISIS ACCOMODATION IN SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE - WEDNESDAY, 10 MARCH 2021
8.12pm | March 10, 2021
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
SHADOW CABINET SECRETARY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER TO THE LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES AND THE PREVENTION OF FAMILY VIOLENCE
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
DEPUTY CHAIR, JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT
MEMBER FOR BRUCE
QUESTIONS OVER WHY LIBERALS FAILED TO FUND CRISIS ACCOMMODATION IN SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE
Hundreds of women and children fleeing violence in South East Melbourne are turned away from crisis accommodation each year because of the Morrison Government’s failure to properly fund emergency accommodation.
The Government’s own figures suggest over 313 women and children are turned away from crisis accommodation in South East Melbourne each year. However, frontline organisations suggest the number is much higher.
In 2019-20, 5,055 incidences of family violence were reported to Victoria Police in the City of Casey - the highest number by local Council area in the State. Yet, the Morrison Government’s Safe Spaces programme has failed to provide any funding for critical crisis accommodation services in the local council, and in the south east of Melbourne.
The Morrison Government must explain why crucial local organisations, such as Launch Housing and Endeavour Ministries, have not received financial support under this program from the Federal Government to continue and expand their critical work.
Across the country, thousands of women and children fleeing family violence have been left without a safe place to go.
Member for Bruce, Julian Hill said the Government’s grants program to address this crisis does nothing to meet the actual need in the local community.
“The Safe Places program committed just $60 million across Australia in funding for capital works over the next two years,” Mr Hill said. “In contrast the Victorian Labor Government has allocated $215 million supporting victims of family violence and homelessness through the COVID pandemic.”
“The Liberals funded 40 projects nationally, yet only 7 were in Victoria, and none were in the City of Casey, the Council with the highest incidence of family violence reports. The Minister needs to explain what she did with these grants.”
Before COVID-19, at least 9000 women and children were turned away from shelters every year nationally. It’s likely the true number is now even higher.
Shadow Assistant Minister for Communities and the Prevention of Family Violence, Senator Jenny McAllister said, “Family and domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women.”
“The lack of funding for emergency accommodation means that there are fewer beds at shelters for women and children fleeing family violence.”
Some organisations rent motel rooms for the women and children they can’t accommodate, but this is only if they can afford to do so. For many women and children, the outcome is homelessness – couch surfing, sleeping in the car, or on the street.
“No one should be left without the support they need to flee family violence,” Senator McAllister said.
”The Morrison Government must explain what its plan is for the thousands of women and children currently being turned away.”
WEDNESDAY, 10 MARCH 2021