| June 25, 2018

Prevention of Violence Against Women

I, too, want to thank the member for Lindsay for putting this motion before the chamber. I was delighted to be able to prepare my contribution along the totally non-political lines that I expected this debate to be held in. Unfortunately, I was hugely disappointed that the member for Lindsay decided to try and make this some form of political fight against Malcolm Turnbull. However, we just have to move on from this.

Ms Husar interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Vamvakinou ): The member will be heard without interruption.

Mr DRUM: I want to simply lodge my support for the total push that this society has to have to make women feel safe in our community. If we do have an election in 12 months time and the Labor Party are lucky enough to win that election, they're not going to be able to stop domestic violence in the way that they think they might. However, the murder of Eurydice Dixon last week certainly has shocked everybody in Australia and it has brought this issue to the fore once again. It has also brought to the fore the statistic of one woman being murdered every week, effectively, in Australia. It has made all Australians sit up and think, 'What more can we be doing to make sure that this doesn't happen again?' I have a daughter who lives in Melbourne, not far from where Eurydice Dixon was murdered last week, and that rocks a father to the core. It goes back to those conversations that I think all fathers have to have with their sons, talking to them at the very earliest opportunity to ensure that they understand the high bar that needs to be set in relation to respect for women.

As the Prime Minister has rightly said, not all disrespect for women ends up in violence against women, but that's where all violence against women begins. We need to go on from that, and we need to make sure that in no way are we prepared to normalise the statistics that we have just read out. The 20-odd names that the member for Lindsay read to the chamber represent a totally heartbreaking story for each and every one of those families. It is ridiculous in this First World nation that we have such statistics and facts as part of our society.

I know that the Assistant Minister for Children and Families, David Gillespie, is working hard on the Safer Pathways network, which aims to increase the uptake of services for the prevention of domestic and family violence. In the budget that has just been handed down, the coalition government committed $54.4 million for services for women affected by violence and for online safety initiatives. Some of these budget initiatives include $11.5 million for the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service, 1800RESPECT—and that program is going to run for two years; $6.7 million to maintain funding for DV-alert, to continue domestic violence response training for our community frontline workers; and $14.2 million for the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, to make cyberspace safe for women.

The 2018-19 budget builds on more than $300 million that has been spent on women's safety in previous budgets. The government's existing investment in women's safety includes $100 million that was provided for a women's safety package in September 2015, with $59 million for practical, immediate action to keep women and children safe. There was also $36 million allocated for support and training for frontline services to deliver high-quality services for women who are in need.

The opportunity has never been greater for women to be able to do whatever they want, but right at the core of that is the responsibility of any society to keep its women and children safe. This motion is particularly about our women. They have the right to be safe, and we need to do everything that we can to assist with that aim and that right.

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