Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (19:08): My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Honourable Gabrielle Williams. This adjournment matter relates to the portfolio responsibility of prevention of family violence. We are committed to implementing every single recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The Andrews Labor government has delivered 204 of the 227 recommendations. The remaining 23 recommendations are on track be fully implemented by October 2022.
Some of the key reforms that we have implemented include the implementation of all the primary prevention focused recommendations, with all Victorian government schools and 384 non-government schools now delivering the Respectful Relationships initiative, building cultures of respect and gender equality across school communities. More than 1950 Victorian government, Catholic and independent schools are now participating. We have strengthened the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 to better protect those who have experienced family violence in their rental properties—victim-survivors are now able to terminate their tenancies with no liability for the debts of their perpetrators. We are helping young people in need through the establishment of dedicated youth refuges, such as the Kids Under Cover Village 21 in Preston and the Iramoo Youth Refuge in Werribee, providing accommodation and support to young people who are living out of home care and would otherwise be homeless. We are developing and implementing a broad range of new perpetrator interventions with unique responses for different groups who use violence, including the Caring Dads program targeting fathers who use violence, court-based initiatives to address LGBTIQ perpetrators and embedding family violence practitioners within the Children’s Court of Victoria.
The action I seek from the minister is to provide me with an update on how the Andrews Labor government is providing increased support to victim-survivors of family violence in the electorate of Western Metropolitan Region as we deliver on the recommendations of the royal commission.
Gabrielle Williams MP, Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, Minister for Women (20 January 2022):
I thank the Member for Western Metropolitan Region for her advocacy and interest in the work of the Victorian Government to support victim-survivors of family violence in her electorate.
The Royal Commission into Family Violence highlighted the devastating impacts of family violence on individuals, families and our community. Five years on, we have implemented 204 of the 227 recommendations, supported with over $3.5 billion of investment – more than every other state combined, and more than the Commonwealth.
We are delivering complex, world-leading reform to end family violence in Victoria – it isn’t easy, and it is a long way from finished, but we are committed to delivering the changes necessary to keep women and children safe.
I am pleased to report that the Victorian Government is continuing to focus on expanding the service footprint and capacity of critical family violence supports across the broader Western Metropolitan Region – to meet the needs of the rapidly growing, diverse community.
The Western Metropolitan Region includes three DFFH Areas, Hume Moreland, Brimbank Melton and Western Melbourne. In Hume Moreland, investment in family violence services has increased 590 per cent since 2015-16. In Brimbank Melton, investment in family violence services has increased 185 per cent since 2015-16 and Western Melbourne has increased 288 percent.
The implementation of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence has created change across the state, increasing frontline service delivery, building new infrastructure, improving practice, and changing legislation.
The establishment of a network of support and safety hubs across Victoria, now known as the Orange Door Network, was a foundational recommendation of the Royal Commission and has fundamentally changed the way we respond to family violence in Victoria.
Since starting in May 2018, more than 180,000 people, including over 70,000 children, have been assisted by The Orange Door. The rollout of The Orange Door network is gaining pace, and will be in place across Hume Moreland, Western Melbourne and Brimbank Melton areas in 2022.
The Orange Door network is the first of its kind, bringing together intake for specialist family violence, child and family, Aboriginal and perpetrator services to deliver accessible and safe services for people experiencing family violence and for children, young people and families in need of support.
The Orange Door is a central part of our commitment to ensure that, no matter where you live, people experiencing family violence can receive the support they need, when they need it – closer to home.
I look forward to updating you on the progress of these programs and initiatives over the coming months.