Minister promises more focus in violence effort
PLANS to improve domestic violence services in Douglas Shire have been pushed during a visit by State Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Shannon Fenitman.
Mayor Julia Leu and deputy mayor Abigail Noli met with-the minister and outlined the council’s commitment to address the issue, and also shared information about the community’s experiences.
Ms Fentiman outlined recent reforms in domestic and family violence legislation and service delivery.
These included initiatives such as ouster orders, where courts can order that a perpetrator be removed from a home where violence occurs.
There are also increased penalties, security upgrades so women escaping violence can remain safe in their homes, information sharing among agencies, and enhancements to the statewide domestic violence service DVConnect.
The mayor and the minister discussed the current options for local women seeking refuge in crisis but also discussed the need for longer term housing solutions to address homelessness in the community.
They also agreed to bring together the relevant agencies and service providers, such as DVConnect, the Department of Housing, and local domestic and family violence services in the community to work together to determine what services the region needs to assist women in immediate need of emergency shelter and ongoing transitional support.
Ms Fentiman congratulated the council on its work.
“I’m keen to work with the mayor and the council to make sure there is a strong community awareness of the service network that already exists to support women escaping violence and to identify what else might be needed, such as mobile outreach services that we have operating in other parts of the state,” she said.
“Our Cairns Region Domestic Violence High Risk Team, announced today, will bring together all the key agencies and will identify what’s needed to ensure an effective service to keep women at risk safe, and monitor high -risk perpetrators to reduce violence across the region.”
Mayor Leu Julie said: “I appreciate the State Government’s efforts to address the impacts of domestic violence on our communities and welcome the invitation to work closely with Ms Fentiman and other stakeholders to improve outcomes for domestic violence victims in the shire.”
Shannon Fentiman MP.