Media Release – International Women’s Day
Women’s Legal Service Tasmania CEO Susan Fahey today welcomed what she described as “exceptional plans for combatting family violence and sexual assault” from both Labor and the Greens. Both policies included funding promises for the Women’s Legal Service.
Premier Lara Giddings’ announced that Labor would provide the service with a $300,000 funding boost over three years if re-elected whilst the Greens released a policy that would see the Women’s Legal Service receive funding of $1 million dollars over four years.
“This additional funding is essential to our service continuing to assist vulnerable women in our community at a time of uncertainty around our ongoing funding” said Ms Fahey.
Ms Fahey called upon the Liberal Party to make a funding commitment to the service saying:
“The Women’s Legal Service provides a critical role in assisting Tasmanian women and their children access free, high quality legal assistance. For every $1 spent on a community legal centre there is an $18 return benefit to society* and it is time that the Tasmanian Government, whoever it may be, contributed to that.”
“At a time when one woman a week is killed through domestic violence in Australia we need to be making changes such as those announced by the Premier and the Greens today. We simply can’t afford not to”.
Ms Fahey also welcomed Premier Giddings announcement that Labor would also establish a Family Violence Court List, increase funding to programs assisting perpetrators of family violence and encourage the adoption of the State Service Family Violence Workplace policy.
Ms Fahey also welcomed the Greens policy which saw funding being allocated to counselling and support services as well as to education.
Ms Fahey said it would be disappointing to see party politics prevent the Liberal Party from following suit in funding the Women’s Legal Service or even adopting some of the polices announced by the other parties saying:
“The policies announced today are excellent. We need these changes regardless of who is in Government. The cost to our community not to pursue these policies far outweighs the cost of implementing them”.
*Economic Cost Benefit Analysis of Community Legal Centres, June 2012 by Judith Stubbs & Associates