Victorian Government To Create Central Agency To Tackle Family Violence After Commission Findings Are Released

30/03/2016 8:47 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
NEW! HIGHLIGHT AND SHARE
Highlight text to share via Facebook and Twitter
Fairfax: Eddie Jim

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will create a central agency to handle all family violence issues across the state, after the government pledged to adopt every recommendation in the Royal Commission into Family Violence report.

The Victorian Premier spoke to Leigh Sales on The 7:30 Report on Wednesday night, announcing the state government's new approach would be based on "outcomes".

"I think we know the system has failed many people in that it's not actually a system... It's a series of disparate services filled with people of passion and great effort and people who work and struggle so hard against the system, almost, to keep people safe," Premier Andrews said on the program.

"There will be one agency that deals with all the government's efforts... there there will be a central coordination where you assess each victim's risk and put in steps and a plan to deal with that risk."

The Premier said training staff in hospitals and specialist family violence services will also be vital to delivering better outcomes -- and reduce the number of victims -- across the state.

"There will be new measures and a determination to be accountable and a much more connected system where we're sharing information, we're sharing data, we're building evidence and we're making sure that it is truly a system that keeps people safe," Andrews said.

With the looming COAG meeting on Friday, Andrews would like support -- or at least a discussion -- around a "family violence medicare item number" recommended by the commission.

"If you are a victim survivor of family violence, you and your kids can go to the GP, get bulk-billed, get the care and the service that you want. That's a simple thing. Yes, there's a cost involved, but they're not costs really. They're investments in a more decent Australia," Andrews said on on the program, before slamming Turnbull's pitch to hand over income tax to the states.

On Wednesday the 1900-page report from the Royal Commission into Family Violence released more than 200 recommendations including an overhaul of the court system which would get all family violence matters in specialist courts within five years.

The Commission also recommended the state establish "support and safety" hubs, so victims can get risk assessments, police referrals, book into crisis accommodation and find other necessary support all in the one place.

Stronger perpetrator programs have also been recommended along with sharing of information between courts, police and key domestic violence services.

As the Commission -- which is the first commission into family violence in Australia -- only spent $13.5 million of the $30 million in funding it received from the state government, Commissioner Marcia Neave suggested the rest be spent kickstarting funding the 227 recommendations.

Upon the release of the report, Premier Andrews was joined by Rosie Batty and the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson at Victoria's Parliament House on Wednesday.

On Monday Richardson revealed her own personal battles with family violence, as she opened up on the ABC's Australian Story about her violent and alcoholic father.

Speaking to The Project on Wednesday night Richardson said her experience "brings a unique perspective [to her ministerial position] and a focus on this issue from a victim's perspective".

"If we provide the services that women need and want, they are more likely to seek better options and safety for children."

More On This Topic

Advertisement
Advertisement