Mr McKIM question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
You have claimed that your Budget delivers for women at risk of men's violence, yet can you confirm that the new funding in your Budget to respond to the current crisis of men's violence against women in Tasmania is limited to a pathetic $200 000 per annum?
Like me and other men in this Parliament, you are a White Ribbon Ambassador, and good on you for signing up, but when are your actions going to finally match your rhetoric on men's violence against women? Can you today assure Tasmanians who are vulnerable or are victims of men's violence against women that there will be more funding announced in the very near future for programs to prevent men's violence against women and to support victims of such violence?
Madam Speaker, I thank the Member for his question and assure him, as we have previously done, that following a relatively short period in which the Government will finalise its action plan in this important area, there will be additional funds made available to address the matter, implement the recommendations of the Safe at Home review to tackle this issue as best we can.
I take in good faith the question and acknowledge that, yes, what we have described as a modest new investment will be well targeted and deliver increased and enhanced benefits and improvements on service delivery, our response to family violence and also our participation in a national agenda led by the Prime Minister to raise awareness and alter attitudes and behaviours. It is certainly a down-payment, a start of ongoing work and effort in this regard.
It is true that I intend to play a central role in the Government's approach to addressing this matter. I think it is important in not only demonstrating the high priority that we place on this but as a White Ribbon Ambassador myself, along with the Member who asked the question and other Members and prominent Tasmanians, to demonstrate that men can and should be amongst the first to speak out and take a leadership position in addressing this issue. It is also important to better coordinate the efforts of a number of agencies involved in dealing with this issue not only supporting victims but in the response of the criminal justice system in providing services to better educate Tasmanians. On that basis I think it is important to take that central leadership position to better coordinate the efforts of government and we are putting in place a number of structural mechanisms to ensure that that occurs. I will be making more statements about that when I am able to respond to the Budget a little later today.
This is a matter which has rightly attracted the attention of the entire nation. In Tasmania I believe it is also achieving great community benefits through increased awareness. The response we saw today, for example, from Blundstone, is an extraordinary demonstration of commitment from the private sector to address this matter on behalf of their employees. On behalf of all members of this House I congratulate Blundstone for taking a leadership position, one which is already a practice under the state Government but one I am sure we would all like to see other Tasmanian businesses and companies adopt as well.
I will have more to say on this matter today that will lay down a framework for how the Government intends to pursue this matter and also time frames. Our action plan is due by August, which is a relatively short period of time, but there is high-level action by Government senior state servants here and nationally to ensure everything we are doing is well targeted. We believe it is more prudent to have that time available to us to coordinate our activities to make sure the additional funding that will be available to this issue is well targeted with the maximum impact.