Refuge options for victims of domestic violence seeking safety in rural Queensland are extremely limited and must be given more attention by the Palaszczuk Government, according to the Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar.
In Parliament yesterday Mr Millar asked the Minister for Communities, Women and Youth Shannon Fentiman for the number of places funded for rural victims and their children in shelters in Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton.
“The Minister was unable to answer the question which leads me to fear that victims of domestic violence in Gregory could be placed in a sad competition against local women for refuge accommodation in our nearest coastal centres,” he said.
“It is already regrettable that it is usually the victimised who must uproot their lives, interrupt their children’s schooling and lose their own employment in order to escape their persecutors,” said Mr Millar.
“I can accept that in small towns it is the safer option for women and their children to travel to refuges on the coast, as in the past refuges in small towns have been quickly discovered by persecutors. However, I believe my constituents deserve the reassurance of knowing they have funded places they can go to feeling they have every right to be there.”
Mr Millar said the Minister had promised him that she would take the Question on notice and get back to him, so the issue will receive her attention.
“I will also be watching for the outcome of an ongoing state-wide audit of domestic violence services to ensure the Central Highlands and Central West are not overlooked and forgotten.
“I do welcome the funding given to the DV Connect phone service, but there is only so much assistance that can be supplied over the phone. Our families need to know they have funded places in larger centres such as Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton,” he said.