Whittlesea Community Connections (8.6.2016)

Written on the 9 June 2016

8 June 2016

COUNCIL 

Adjournment 

GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)

 

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence.

It is in relation to the Whittlesea Community Legal Service, a Whittlesea Community Connections service, which I had the pleasure of visiting with my colleague Mr Ondarchie last week when I was out visiting parts of his electorate. We met with a number of organisations and people who are dealing with these matters, not only in my responsibility area of early childhood education but also in the very important area of family violence. We had a very good meeting with the Whittlesea Community Legal Service, which is doing a terrific job in relation to the numbers of people, particularly women, it is seeing come through its service each day. The staff cited figures to us that in the most recent quarter, that being from 1 January to 31 March this year, they have seen 128 new clients across all the services that they provide. That equates to around two new reports coming through their doors each day. With that, they are really struggling to keep up with demand.

There is greater awareness, of course, with the Royal Commission into Family Violence. It has brought greater awareness among many communities right across Victoria, which is a very good thing, and we have seen the reporting of incidents go up across the state. I think it is incumbent on government to cater for these demands. Whittlesea Community Legal Service has in its family violence unit two part-time family violence lawyers who have been funded out of the Department of Justice and Regulation. The funding for those two positions runs out at the end of this year. That is a concern that the staff hope will be addressed when that funding issue comes up. In the meantime they are really seeking an immediate injection of funding to be able to deal with this situation that they are seeing on a daily basis that is, two reports each day. Whittlesea Community Legal Service is providing very good services across a range of areas, particularly in the area of family violence.

Whilst there are various reviews and committees being undertaken to look at the implementation of the recommendations of the royal commission, my request to the minister is that she looks at this particular organisation, Whittlesea Community Connections, and provide that urgent funding so that it can provide legal services to that . . .

Mr Herbert I am having trouble hearing the member.

Ms CROZIER I think it is my cold. I apologise to Mr Herbert.

 

The action I seek is that the minister look at the needs of Whittlesea Community Connections and provide urgent funding to assist with its demands in relation to family violence reports two a day.


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