The Morrison Government is providing an additional $12.6 million to expand the Safe Places Emergency Accommodation Program to support women and children escaping violence in the remote and regional communities of Cairns and Logan-Beaudesert in Queensland, and Albany, West Pilbara and Goldfields in Western Australia.
This funding allows for the renovation, building or purchase of accommodation to support women and children experiencing family and domestic violence.
Minister for Families and Social Services and Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston said the Safe Places program was originally designed to help more than 6,000 Australian women and children each year to escape violence. This new funding will assist about an additional 460 women and children each year.
“Women and children in regional and remote communities face specific challenges and often stay with family and friends to escape violent situations, though this is not always an option.
“The Safe Places program works alongside the new Escaping Violence Payment which provides women with up to $5,000 in immediate financial assistance as they establish a home free of violence,” Minister Ruston said.
In September last year the Morrison Government provided $60 million for the successful Safe Places Emergency Accommodation Program and this latest funding brings our total investment in the program to $72.6 million.
Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing Michael Sukkar said the five additional Safe Places projects would make a real difference to the safety of women and children in locations with high demand and little or no access to emergency accommodation.
“Our commitment to these additional projects will ensure that women and children who are struggling to find a safe place to stay would have greater access to emergency accommodation, particularly in regional areas,” said Minister Sukkar.
The Salvation Army, Southern Aboriginal Corporation and Goldfields Indigenous Housing Organisation projects in Western Australia will share in $9.6 million and Yourtown and Access Community Housing Company will receive $3 million for Safe Places projects in Queensland.
The funding for the Southern Aboriginal Corporation alone, will allow for six self contained units to be built that will support 166 women and children each year.
This funding forms part of the Morrison Government’s record $1.1 billion commitment to women’s safety in the 2021-22 Budget.
For more information on the Safe Places Emergency Accommodation grants, visit the Community Grants Hub.
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.