Media Release: NSW Labor Budget fails victim survivors of domestic and family violence

The Budget handed down today by NSW Labor has doubled-down on decades of government failure to properly fund frontline domestic and family violence services and programs. 

In addition to the so-called emergency funding of $230 million announced in May this year, the Budget contains only $15.6 million in additional funding - $10 million for men’s behaviour change programs and an additional $5.6 million for Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service workers. 

The Greens welcome any additional funding for domestic and family violence prevention and response, however the total amount being delivered by the NSW Government remains woefully inadequate given the scale of the problem it is seeking to address and is still less than two-thirds of the amount spent in Victoria. 

This budget fails victim-survivors, and will continue to result in the dedicated and hard-working specialist frontline workers being dangerously underfunded and stretched too thin as they desperately seek to service ever-increasing demand.

 

Quotes attributable to Abigail Boyd, Greens NSW Spokesperson for Gendered Violence and Abuse:

“This Budget has put the safety of victim survivors of domestic and family violence in the ‘nice to have’ basket, relegated to being an optional extra.

“When the Premier announced the so-called emergency funding package in May this year, he promised that it was just the start, and not the end, of the Labor government’s response. He promised that he was listening - that he understood that we cannot accept the status quo. But the status quo budget handed down today, with no significant additional funding, puts an abrupt end to that conversation.

“The sector has been calling for targeted investment in key specialist domestic and family violence services, with an uplift of $135 million in 2024-25 and ongoing. This budget does nothing to address that.

“The sector has been calling for a 50% core funding increase for all specialist domestic and family violence services in 2024-25 and ongoing. This budget does nothing to address that.

“The sector has been calling for $100 million dollars for the Primary Prevention Strategy, but this budget persists with an inadequate allocation that is less than 40% of what is being called for.

“Rather than being an emergency package, it has become clear that the government either merely brought forward the inadequate measures that were already scheduled for this budget or that it was genuinely new money because there was in fact no intention to provide any real additional funding in this budget. Either way, it’s clear that NSW Labor views domestic violence in our State as a ‘May Problem’ and not something they have to worry about looking like they’re taking seriously now.

“Labor Ministers have today used Question Time to claim that one of the domestic and family violence measures in today’s budget includes reshuffling the housing waitlist to put victim-survivors of domestic and family violence over other needy people in yet-to-be built social housing. To claim this as some sort of significant measure to prevent or respond to the scale of the domestic and family violence crisis shows just how far away Labor are from doing what is actually required.

“Whatever the story, the meaning is clear. The NSW Labor government does not take this issue seriously, and women and children around the state will continue to live in danger.”

 

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