March 31, 2016
All levels of government will need to work with the community to reduce family violence and protect victims, according to Federal MP and White Ribbon ambassador Darren Chester.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the Commonwealth would work in partnership with the Victorian Government following the release of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
The report made 227 recommendations, many of which would require the Victorian Government to work with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to implement.
Mr Chester said the Federal Government had also made domestic violence a priority and congratulated the Victorian Government for the leadership role it had taken on the issue.
“Family violence still remains largely hidden in our community and Gippsland is no different to other parts of Victoria. It must be stamped out,” Mr Chester said.
“We cannot tolerate people living in fear in their own homes; unable to leave, or worse, physically harmed or murdered by someone who claims to love them.
“We have dedicated people in Gippsland providing support and our local police continue to do the best with the resources they have.
“But they are being put under increased pressure, and all levels of government have a role to play in partnership with the community to ease that burden.
“If we want more people to report cases of domestic violence, we need to provide the support to facilitate that help.”
Mr Chester said the Federal Government had committed additional funding to domestic violence support.
“One of the first decisions of the Turnbull Government was allocating $100 million for a Women’s Safety package, establishing domestic violence units and health-justice partnerships to provide specialist support,” Mr Chester said.
“We have also established the COAG Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women and Children, led by Rosie Batty and Ken Lay, which is making a significant contribution in this area.
“The Australian Government has also jointly funded a $30 million National Campaign with the purpose of changing disrespectful attitudes and behaviours that may lead to violence against women.”
Mr Chester thanked those from Gippsland who contributed to the Royal Commission through hearings and submissions.
“Those people who have spoken up during the Royal Commission process have given a voice to local victims,” Mr Chester said.
“Past, current and future governments will never claim to be perfect on the issue of family violence. But all levels of political leadership are taking this issue seriously and we have a combined resolve to help victims and stop the violence from taking place in the first place.”
Mr Chester also recognised the contribution of Gippsland resident Mr Ken Lay, Chair of the Council of Australian Governments Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children, and domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty.