Reannouncement fails to deliver for domestic violence victim-survivors

21 November 2022

With great fanfare, the Liberal-National Government today reannounced funding already allocated to domestic violence refuges, hailing it as a “boost” for the sector.
The announcement stated that 39 new refuges would be operational by the end of 2025-2026 as part of the Core and Cluster program, which will deliver wraparound accommodation and support services to families who have fled domestic violence.
But there is no new funding arising from today’s announcement and there is no commitment for any of the refuges to be operating and offering services to victim-survivors before the end of 2025-2026.
In August 2022, during Budget Estimate’s questioning, the responsible Minister Natalie Ward MLC was unable to say when the first specialist housing would be opened.
Jodie Harrison, Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, said NSW Labor welcomed this funding announcement one year ago. Ten months later the Minister was unable to give an update and today the NSW Government have reannounced it with a three year waiting period.
“This is a Government that has had 12 years to make a difference in this sector and delivered nothing.
“This announcement continues the theme of promising great things but failing to act to support the sector. I am hearing from domestic violence and specialist homelessness service providers constantly that for years they have been overwhelmed by the immediate need they face in the community.
“Instead of addressing that immediate need by acting over the last 12 years to provide much needed accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence, this Government has made an announcement at 12 minutes to midnight ahead of an election, which will not offer any services for three years.
“Far from being a ‘key priority’, as Treasurer Matt Kean described it today, the needs of the domestic violence sector have been put on hold until a pre-election announcement can be rolled out. It is a very cynical exercise.”