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"Where are the domestic and family violence workers?" - Indigenous senator asks as crisis continues

Giovanni Torre -

Shadow Minister for Child Protection and the Prevention of Family Violence Kerrynne Liddle has called for the federal government to deliver on the boost in frontline domestic and family violence workers promised during the election campaign.

Senator Liddle, who represents South Australia, said that "at a time when family violence is at its worst, it is shameful the sector has waited more than 18 months for desperately needed extra frontline workers".

"This week in Parliament, I asked 'Where is the money? Who is getting it? What decision process is the Government following?'," she said.

"Women, children and families are relying and waiting on the federal and state governments to get boots on the ground to respond to this domestic and family violence epidemic. This week I asked for information from Minister Amanda Rishworth about the implementation of Labor's election promise. It was a simple question. Where are the 500 frontline workers you promised Australia at election? Not answered."

The Indigenous senator said the government tried to block the production of requested documents on the issue.

"I am not going to stop asking for evidence of action and answers. Newspaper reports suggest Minister Rishworth went to Central Australia where even the service providers were seeking information that allows them to continue their vital work. An announcement is not an outcome," she said.

"Following a spate of deaths of women - five in three weeks - allegedly at the hands of men in South Australia, the evidence proves a more urgent response is needed.

"This week I also wrote to South Australian Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Katrine Hildyard, to ask how much longer South Australians must wait for 37 frontline family violence workers to be employed across our state, particularly as it is seven months since she signed the Commonwealth agreement. The delay is simply not good enough."

Senator Liddle said the Minister can not just supply funding and "hope for the best".

"I want to know if the workers are going to be in place during this critical cost of living crisis for Australian families and whether they will be hired before what we know is a stressful seasonal time for families. This cannot just be about an announcement. This must be about demonstrating an understanding of the need for urgent implementation."

National Indigenous Times has contacted the office of Minister Rishworth.

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   Giovanni Torre   

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