Wednesday, 21 February 2018

 New domestic violence service for NSW Central Coast

Media release

The Hon Christian Porter MP
Attorney-General

Lucy Wicks MP
Member for Robertson

Vulnerable people on the New South Wales Central Coast now have access to greater support services through a new, dedicated Domestic Violence Unit.

Attorney-General, Christian Porter, said it was one of six new domestic violence units being established across Australia with funding of $3.4 million to bring together legal and social support services in one place, providing a much greater level of support to those in urgent need.

The Attorney-General was joined by Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, to officially launch the Central Coast Domestic Violence Unit, operated by NSW Legal Aid, during an event today in Wyong.

"This model of bringing together specialist legal and social support services is already working very well across Australia and that is why we are establishing even more units across Australia," the Attorney-General said.

"Twelve existing units across the country have already helped 4,000 clients providing more than 9,000 discrete services since they were first established by the Turnbull Government in early 2016.

"It is a great pleasure to be here with my colleague, Lucy Wicks, to officially launch the service on the Central Coast."

Ms Wicks said the services provided through the Domestic Violence Unit on the Central Coast would be vital for local women experiencing family violence.

"It is all too common a reality that too many women in Australia face domestic violence every day," Ms Wicks said.

"On the Central Coast we have a range of excellent services to protect women and children who are experiencing, or at risk of, family violence.

"This Domestic Violence Unit is partnering with local providers across the Coast to deliver a range of services such as crisis accommodation, mental health support, financial counselling and other practical support needed to help escape violent relationships and situations.

"There's no doubt that for anyone trying to escape a violent situation, the ease of accessing essential services and supports is critical to escape violent relationships and protect themselves and their children.

"I urged my Government colleagues to consider the Central Coast for one of these new units and I thank the Attorney-General and his predecessor in the portfolio, George Brandis, in listening to and responding to the needs of vulnerable people on the central coast."

The Attorney-General said the Turnbull Government was committed to action to address issues of family violence.

"The new domestic violence units build on the Government's record investment of more than $1.7 billion over five years for legal aid commissions, community legal centres and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, including $20 million already being provided for the existing 12 specialist domestic violence units and five health justice partnerships established in 2016 under the Women's Safety Package," the Attorney-General said.