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Victoria's family violence reforms are at risk of failing due to insufficient planning, warns monitor Tim Cartwright - HERALD SUN

Posted on 10 May 2018
Victoria's family violence reforms are at risk of failing due to insufficient planning, warns monitor Tim Cartwright - HERALD SUN


Alex White,

Herald Sun

May 10, 2018 2:23pm


VICTORIA'S response to family violence is too focused on ticking off recommendations from the Royal Commission and risks not helping vulnerable families, according to a damning new report.

The review by former Acting Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Tim Cartwright warned planning had been "insufficient."

And the government appeared "overly focused on acquitting implementation of the Royal Commission's recommendations" rather than achieving long-term outcomes.

The review from Mr Cartwright who was appointed as the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor by the government comes after Victoria held Australia's first Royal Commission into Family Violence in

February 2015, which made 227 recommendations on tackling the issue.

It was then followed by an Andrews Government Budget commitment of almost $2 billion to tackle the issue in 2017.

Mr Cartwright called for more focus on long-term goals to avoid further issues.

"I expected the foundational work to be much more advanced by now,'' he said.

"The government seems to be improving its approach, but whole-of-reform planning has been insufficient for a reform of this size.

"While I acknowledge that the harm caused by family violence requires urgent action, this urgency must be balanced with planning and ensuring the long term effectiveness of the reform and the best possible outcome for victim survivors."

His comments are expected to be a harsh blow for the Andrews Government who have campaigned strongly on the issue.

But it has not come as a surprise to organisations on the ground who have complained for months that reform was having little impact.

The Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor chaired by Mr Cartwright, was established in 2016 to audit the ongoing attempts to address violence in Victorian homes.

Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings said it was crucial the government put survivors first and held perpetrators to account.

"The Family Violence Implementation Monitor plays an important part in keeping us on track to achieve our promise to the women and children of Victoria and we thank him for his ongoing work."

"We'll continue to work closely with victim survivors and family violence practitioners to ensure that we get these reforms right.

"It's crucial that we always put victim-survivors first and hold perpetrators to account."

Opposition spokeswoman for family violence Georgie Crozier said the review was concerning.

"Despite the Daniel Andrews receiving strong support from the Liberal and Nationals to address family violence, it is clear the Labor Government is mismanaging this important reform,'' she said.

"Once again we see that Daniel Andrews might be good at press conferences and throwing money at a problem, but the results never match the rhetoric."

She said the report also showed the 2017 budget allocation had already blown out to $2.4 billion, despite no real impact on the sector.


The $1.9 billion budget package in 2017/18 included:

$50.7 million on a prevention agency and advertising campaign.

$268 million for Victoria's legal system, including five new specialist Family Violence Courts.

Funding was also announced for 450 new child protection workers.

Almost $450 million budgeted for 17 Support and Safety Hubs established across Victoria.


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