Women's minister calls safety summit
The Federal Government will host a national women's safety summit.
Federal Minister for Women's Safety Anne Ruston met with her state and territory counterparts this week before announcing a summit to be held on July 29 and 30 this year.
“As part of that summit we'll be looking at a number of issues that we need to inform the next plan,” she said.
“And making sure that we get as many people together, as many stakeholders, so that the next plan is informed by voices of all Australians.”
Australia’s current 12-year National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children expires in 2022.
The safety summit is expected to focus on advancing that blueprint, not some of the broader issues affecting women. It comes as women's safety services and women's refuges call for an immediate funding injection.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the talks should be broadened.
“I actually think the time is now right for our country to have a national women's summit to look at gender inequality,” Ms Palaszczuk said this week.
“To look at economic inequality, to look at action to address the gender pay gap, actions to address the superannuation gap, addressing issues of affordable childcare.”
Senator Ruston said it is good to focus on a “single goal”.
“The scope of the summit is obviously something that we will be in consultation with the state and the territories over coming months,” she said.
“But it's very focused around women's safety, and making sure that we have the best possible information base to be able to inform the next plan.”
Additionally, the Federal Government has announced it will fund a $10 million package to assist women on temporary visas who are experiencing domestic and family violence.
The funding will give access to financial and legal support for women on temporary visas, who are often unable to access social services and welfare payments due to their visa status.
Eligible visa holders can access up to $3,000 through the Australia Red Cross to pay for expenses like accommodation and medical care.
“We want to ensure that no matter what a woman's visa status may be, she is able to access help and support when needed, to stay safe from violence and abuse,” Senator Ruston told reporters.
“Women and children who are living in Australia on temporary visas may face specific challenges in reporting and accessing support services for domestic and family violence.”
The program will also see a handful of community and women's legal centres receive $3.5 million to help vulnerable women access legal advice and migration support.
It is a pilot program designed to inform future support for women on temporary visas facing domestic violence.