The Greens have called on the federal government to provide critical and overdue funding of frontline domestic violence and sexual assault services, after an horrific week of violence against women and children left the nation reeling.
Greens leader in the Senate and spokesperson on women Larissa Waters said:
“The past week has provided everyone with a tragic reminder of Australia’s ongoing family violence crisis.
“Like most people I’m still in shock from the horrific killing last week of Kelly Wilkinson on the Gold Coast, which happened little more than a year after Hannah Clarke and her three children were burned to death in their car.
“I also share the community’s grief over the appalling death of nine-month-old Kobi Shepherdson, who was killed by her father in a murder-suicide in South Australia last week.
“And on the weekend we learned of another tragic murder-suicide, again on the Gold Coast, which claimed the life of a 48-year-old woman, whose body was found in a furniture chest.
“It’s been one tragedy after another. Eleven women have now been killed by violence in Australia in 2021. Families and communities across the country are in mourning.
“How many more women and children have to die before this government takes action?
“I met with women’s groups in Cairns last week who told me how the chronic lack of domestic violence shelters, transitional housing and social housing in Far North Queensland were leaving women with nowhere to go to escape violence. This is a nightmare women across the country are facing.
“The PM pledged last week that additional funding for domestic violence prevention would be allocated in the upcoming federal budget, but his government’s track record on gender equality doesn’t give me much hope.
“Under Tony Abbott the Coalition abolished the Women's Budget Impact Statement, removing the gender lens from the budgeting process. This has further reduced the visibility of cuts to critical areas like childcare, housing and frontline domestic violence services.
“The Greens call again for the reinstatement of the Women’s Budget Impact Statement.
“We also call again for full and immediate funding of frontline domestic violence and sexual assault services, and for an urgent injection of federal funding to build enough social housing to clear waitlists, so that survivors of family violence don’t have to choose between violence and homelessness.
“And we call for the government to legislate to close the gender pay gap, which remains at over 13%, to introduce free and accessible early childhood education, and to extend paid parental leave.
“The PM has the power to protect Australian women from family violence, and address gender inequality. It’s about time he did.”