Locations for specialist domestic violence legal support

27 September 2015

Today, I am announcing the regions across each state and territory which will share $15 million in funding for the delivery of targeted legal assistance services to help women experiencing domestic violence.

This funding will help women to access legal services safely by establishing twelve new specialist domestic violence units, building four new health justice partnerships and expanding one very successful health justice partnership.

This funding is part of the Australian Government’s $100 million package of measures to enhance the safety of women which was announced by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Women this week.

The locations of the domestic violence units and the health justice partnerships have been selected based on high reported rates of domestic violence and to ensure that women in each state and territory benefit from increased access front-line service delivery.

Half of the specialist units will be in regional areas, where women can face additional barriers in getting the help they need. Indigenous women, and those living in migrant communities, will also receive targeted assistance.

The regions which will benefit from the establishment of a new specialist domestic violence unit are:

South-West Sydney, NSW;
the Dubbo region, NSW;
North-East Melbourne, VIC;
the Mallee region, VIC;
priority locations within Brisbane and the Gold Coast, QLD;
Townsville, QLD;
North-East Perth, WA;
the Kimberley, WA;
Elizabeth, SA;
North-West Tasmania;
Alice Springs, NT; and
Canberra, ACT.

Additional funding will be provided to establish health justice partnerships between a local hospital or health centre and the new domestic violence units at:

Brisbane and the Gold Coast, QLD;
North-East Perth, WA;
Elizabeth, SA; and
Alice Springs, NT.

The partnerships will provide training to doctors and health staff on how to identify vulnerable women and support them safely, including by directing them to an onsite lawyer.

The new services will be established by existing legal assistance providers with strong track records of providing high quality services to women experiencing domestic violence. The new units will complement the existing efforts of the sector and state and territory governments.

Inner Melbourne Community Legal will also be funded to expand its successful health justice partnership ‘Acting on the Warning Signs’ with the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne.

Eastern Community Legal Centre has already been announced as the provider of the specialist domestic violence unit in the North-Eastern Melbourne region. Other providers will be announced shortly.