Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence

Budget 2022-23 – Third Family and Sexual Violence Action Plan – Progress

25 May 2022

Mr WOOD question to MINISTER for the PREVENTION of FAMILY VIOLENCE, Mrs PETRUSMA.

[11.14 a.m.]

Can you provide an update on the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s progress on the third Family and Sexual Violence Action Plan and the upcoming funding in the 2022-23 Budget?

ANSWER

Mr Speaker, I thank the member for his question and for his interest in this very important matter.  Every Tasmanian has the right to live free from violence, which is why eliminating family and sexual violence is a top priority for our Government and indeed this parliament.

First of all, I want to acknowledge and pay tribute to the courage of all victim-survivors of family and sexual violence and to also thank all those in our government and non-government sectors who assist victim-survivors of family and sexual violence in their most vulnerable time of need, and for their continued dedication and efforts towards our goal of a Tasmania that is free from all forms of violence.

This Government takes our role very seriously and this is why, since the launch of our first nation-leading action plan in 2015 and under our second action plan launched in 2019, the Tasmanian Government has taken a whole-of-government multi-agency approach and has invested over $300 million in responding to family and sexual violence, including $63 million for specific measures under our first and second action plans and the $19 million in direct funding and $59 million in indirect funding we spend to address family and sexual violence every year.

Whilst strong progress has been made under both of our action plans, we know that there is still much more work to be done, which is why our third action plan will build on what we know works and we will also include new actions to refine our efforts towards preventing and responding to family and sexual violence, while putting the voices of victim-survivors at the centre of our approach.

The consultation for our next action plan includes the Hearing Lived Experience Survey; establishing a victim-survivor advisory council; targeted workshops with a focus on diverse lived experience, including children and young people, people with a disability, CALD communities, rural and regional communities, LGBTIQ+ and older Tasmanians; partnering with Tasmanian Aboriginal community organisations and public written submissions.

Our aim is to provide as many opportunities as possible to hear the experiences and perspectives of the Tasmanian community and in particular the voices of victim-survivors.  Therefore I am delighted that as at 24 May we have already received 640 responses to our online Hearing Lived Experience Survey and our social media advertising campaign has generated 1 225 180 impressions across Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat and reached 199 559 unique users.

I am also pleased to inform the House that in the upcoming 2022-23 Budget $12.5 million has been allocated for the first year of our new five‑year action plan which will be launched in July, a 40 per cent increase on the annual investment under our second action plan.  One of the key priority actions in our new action plan will be a commitment of increased recurrent core funding for Tasmania’s nine specialist family and sexual violence services with five‑year contracts to provide greater certainty and increased operational capacity to respond to demand over the longer term.

We want to strengthen service delivery to ensure that Tasmanians who experience family and sexual violence have access to specialist services that meet their needs and circumstances.  This is why services including Engender Equality, Huon Domestic Violence Services, Relationship Abuse of an Intimate Nature (RAIN), Safe Choices, Yemaya the Sexual Assault Support Service, Laurel House, the Australian Childhood Foundation and the Family Violence Counselling Support Service will receive this additional core funding with a total of nearly $75 million to be provided for these services over the next five years.  This new funding also meets the community budget submission request in full for Engender Equality, the Sexual Assault Support Service, Laurel House and Yemaya.  To further assist victim-survivors of sexual and family violence, the 2022-23 Budget will also fund $15.1 million over two years to pilot our new multidisciplinary centres in the north and south of the state. 

On top of this, we are also investing $3.7 million in the Budget to provide next-generation technology in instruments for our scientists, resulting in high-quality evidence for court proceedings, as well as increasing the capacity for storage of evidence, including sexual evidence kits.  This means that victim-survivors can have their forensic samples taken, knowing that their evidence will be kept indefinitely until they feel ready to report to police.  This is so important for a victim-survivor who is not ready to report to police at the time of the incident.  Being able to retain these important evidence kits allows the victim-survivor to know their evidentiary material will be kept safe so that they can report to police at a time when they are ready and of their own choosing.

These and other measures in the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s 2022-23 Budget will help ensure that we provide a best-practice sexual and family violence response in Tasmania that puts victim-survivors at the heart.