600. Hon ALISON XAMON to the Leader of the House representing the Minister for Child Protection:
I refer to funding of family and domestic violence counselling advocacy and support service contracts.
(1) Is the minister aware that the costs for delivering these services have risen significantly above government funding levels over the past six years and that there is now a serious risk that available services will be reduced as a result?
(2) Will the government agree to sustainably fund these critical services to adequately take into account increased costs, including the full impact of the equal remuneration order, increased demand and COVID-19?
(3) If no to (2), why not?
Hon SUE ELLERY replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
(1)–(2) All service providers in the family and domestic violence counselling, advocacy and support service program have been offered a two-year extension, with an option of a further 12-month extension. This process ensures that contracting arrangements are structured in a manner that supports sustainable service delivery and recognises the importance of ongoing organisational viability, consistent with the government’s delivering community services in partnership policy. All 18 service providers for 22 services have responded and will continue to deliver services to the community. The Department of Communities will continue to closely monitor changes in the demand for these contracted services and respond accordingly. To ensure the safety of women and children experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, family and domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, all FDV CAS service providers will receive grant funding of $25 000 per service to ensure that services can continue to support those who need it most during this time. The up-front payment was provided to services at the beginning of June 2020.
(3) Not applicable.