The Morrison Government will triple funding under the National Partnership on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence responses to boost frontline services in the Northern Territory in response to the chronic rates of violence and to work towards our Closing the Gap commitments.
Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston announced the Morrison Government was delivering an additional $10.7 million on top of the funding being provided under the $260 million National Partnership on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Responses.
“The rates of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children in the NT are devastating and must be urgently addressed,” Minister Ruston said.
“Under the National Partnership Agreement we have already delivered a $1.195 million to the Northern Territory Government to support frontline services and had been expected to make a further $3.585 million in payments over the next 12 months totalling $4.78 million based on the Territory’s population size and remoteness.
“But we recognise that it is vital for funding to be directed to the areas of most need which is why we have made the decision to triple the amount of funding the Northern Territory Government will receive to a total of $15.5 million.
The $260 million National Partnership Agreement is the single biggest payment from the Commonwealth to states and territories for domestic and family violence responses and builds on the $130 million National Partnership on COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence Responses which was rolled out in 2020 which supported 18 Northern Territory organisations to boost emergency accommodation and outreach services, specifically in remote communities.
“The additional funding will allow services across the Northern Territory to provide staff mentoring and training for frontline staff, early intervention programs for young people and tailored services for women in remote communities experiencing violence,” Minister Ruston said.
“We must also ensure that we are investing in programs that are developed and delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people because we must support community-led solutions if we want to see real and lasting change.”
For the first time an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan is being developed to sit alongside the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children and to deliver Closing the Gap Target 13 that by 2031, the rate of all forms of family violence and abuse against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children is reduced at least by 50 per cent as progress towards zero.
Sandra Creamer, the interim chair of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council which was developing the Action Plan, said an extra boost to frontline services in the Northern Territory was a major step forward in addressing domestic and family violence, especially in regional and remote areas where there are high service provision costs.
“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council have worked together with Minister Ruston to identify the importance of the many issues our women are experiencing when escaping domestic and family violence,” she said.
“This funding will provide women with the support they need to create a safe supportive environment for themselves and their children.”
The Morrison Government is investing $4.315 million to deliver new emergency accommodation that will support up to 200 women and children each year in the NT who are fleeing violence.
Salvation Army (Northern Territory) Property Trust General Manager Lorrinda Hamilton said the project in the Darwin area would be completed by October 2023.
“This funding has allowed us to rebuild and expand to two studio and eight two bedroom self-contained units, as well as three three-bedroom outreach houses including some accommodation with full disability access,” Ms Hamilton said.
These programs build on the Morrison Government’s commitment to end all forms of gender based violence which we backed with our record $1.1 billion investment into women’s safety as a down payment on the next National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au