1463. Hon Alison Xamon to the Leader of the House representing the Minister for Child Protection; Women’s Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services:
I refer to women who are ineligible for government assistance including, but not limited to, those on bridging visas, student visas and spouses of men on 457 visas, and I ask:
(a) is the Minister aware how many of these women seek refuge from family and domestic violence in Western Australia each year;
(b) if yes to (a), how many;
(c) if no to (a), why not;
(d) is the Minister aware how many of these women are accommodated in refuges in Western Australia;
(e) if yes to (d):
(i) how many were accommodated in 2017; and
(ii) what was their average length of stay in a refuge;
(f) is the Minister aware of how many women who are not eligible for government assistance are turned away from refuges;
(g) if yes to (f), how many were turned away in 2017;
(h) if no to (f), why not; and
(i) what funding is available for refuges to enable them to support women who experience family and domestic violence and who are ineligible for government support?
Hon Sue Ellery replied:
(a)–(h) Data regarding the use of specialist homelessness services, including women’s refuges, is managed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the national agency for information and statistics on Australia’s health and welfare issues. Not-for-profit community sector organisations contracted by the Department of Communities are required to provide services appropriate and accessible to women and children experiencing family and domestic violence. No person should be denied a service because of culture, race, disability, sexuality or inability to pay for the service.
Data is collected according to the type of assistance being sought, however, data is not collected on clients’ ineligibility for government assistance and the information is not differentiated by residency or visa status. Therefore it is not possible to answer the Member’s question.
(i) Across the State, the Department of Communities provides approximately $24.2 million per year in funding to family and domestic violence accommodation and support services The Department of Communities has a Grant Agreement with the Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WA) Inc. to provide support directly to women accommodated at a women’s refuge who are ineligible for government assistance. In 2018–19, the Department provided $10,000 (GST exclusive) under the Grant Agreement.