Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today that Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion should immediately fund the Djarindjin safe house and come clean on gaps in services across the country under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) following news that the women’s domestic violence shelter on the Dampier Peninsula has not been funded.
“It is outrageous that this shelter and other essential services haven’t been funded under the IAS. Rather than fragmented news about who is and isn’t receiving funding across the country, Minister Scullion must come clean and provide a list of defunded service providers so that we can quickly establish gaps in services.
“These essential services are vital for the community, in the case of this women’s shelter, there are people’s lives at risk.
“This is a very serious scenario; we have heard the shelter is a service that ‘fell through the cracks’, how does the only women’s safe house in the Dampier Peninsula fall through the cracks?
“The nearest women’s centre is now in Broome, which is the only refuge for 200km. I would like to ask Minister Scullion where he expects these women to go.
“55 people have stayed one night or more in this shelter since September 2014 as a result of domestic violence. If this safe house is closed these women are at great risk of serious harm, this is the reality.
“458 women were also supported through the safe house community education programs since last September. This is over 40% of the population of the Dampier Peninsula.
“I urge the Minister to immediately reinstate the funding for this service whilst providing a full list of services that did not receive funding under the IAS.
“The community deserves better than this”.