Anti-domestic violence advocates say Liberal and Labor promises to set up a federal Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission will increase accountability, but have questioned the Morrison government’s spending on existing prevention programs.
The government and Opposition this week announced similar plans to set up a federal commission tasked with monitoring the country’s response to tackling domestic violence.
Labor’s $153.4 million pledge over four years would fund a commission and 500 new case worker, financial counsellor, and child support roles.
The Morrison government committed $22.4 million over five years to set up a commission.
Under the Coalition’s plan, the commission would be led by a chief executive or commissioner, who would be tasked with tracking the government’s implementation of its national domestic violence prevention plan.
Labor’s proposed commission would act as a “voice for victim-survivors” and provide yearly reports to government, outlining progress towards eliminating violence.
But experts warn funding used to set up a commission could duplicate work already being done by women’s safety organisations such as ANROWS.
Australian of the Year Grace Tame, advocate for survivors of sexual assault, described the government’s plan as akin to funding a “committee of glorified paper-pushers”.