Commonwealth funding boost to address domestic and family violence during COVID-19

Published Thursday, 28 May, 2020 at 04:07 PM

Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer

The Palaszczuk Government has welcomed $5 million in Commonwealth funding to help address domestic and family violence (DFV) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the funding would assist the Palaszczuk Government provide even more support to the most vulnerable in our community.

“The new National Partnership on COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence Response delivers up to $130 million to the states and territories from the Commonwealth to boost domestic and family violence assistance during COVID-19,” Ms Farmer said.

“This Commonwealth funding complements the Palaszczuk Government’s $7.5 million package to meet increased demand for family violence assistance across Queensland.” 

Following agreement by the Council of Australian Government (COAG) Women’s Safety Council about national priorities, states and territories have received their first payment.

Queensland has received a first payment of $5 million for 2019-20.

“This will be of tremendous benefit to Queensland’s Government funded, not-for-profit organisations who are working proactively to help those in need,” Ms Farmer said.

“We have listened to stakeholders and taken onboard feedback from the recent virtual DFV COVID-19 Summit about how to distribute this additional funding for maximum benefit.”

Federal Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the funding boost to Queensland formed part of the Australian Government’s $150 million domestic violence response package to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our priority is ensuring people experiencing family and domestic violence reach out for support and that they are able to access it as quickly as possible despite the crisis,” Minister Ruston said.

“We will continue to work closely with states and territories over the next six months to allocate a the remaining funding to where it is most needed.”

The breakdown of the Commonwealth’s $5 million in funding includes:

  • $2.7 million for domestic and family violence workers in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services across the state to provide additional capacity to respond to demand pressures during the pandemic;
  • $820,000 to enhance the capacity of existing Family and Child Connect family support services to respond to the increased needs of families affected by  DFV;
  • $824,000 to further enhance crisis and post-crisis accommodation and support to those affected by domestic and family violence;
  • $546,000 for existing services to help women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, especially those on temporary visas, with crisis accommodation and other support services, and
  • $50,000 to enhance a project with Tenants Qld to provide support to DFV services regarding tenants’ rights under COVID-19 measures to support access to safe, supported accommodation.

Ms Farmer said the Women’s Safety Council had also agreed to allocate a further $4.7 million to states and territories.

“A further $29.3 million in 2020-21 is to be allocated to states and territories to support service providers and help with future planning,” Ms Farmer said

“We are giving careful consideration to how best to use our share of this additional funding to assist those in need.”

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