Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission to provide national leadership and accountability

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien has welcomed a $22.4 million investment by the Liberal and National Government over five years to establish a Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission.

The Commission will oversee the implementation of the next National Plan to end violence against women and children, and support the Government in providing policy leadership, developing and fostering relationships across the sector and ensuring greater cooperation and transparency between the Commonwealth, states and territories in delivering the Plan’s targets and objectives.

Mr O’Brien said by designing the frontline support as a partnership with all states and territories it ensures the funding is meeting local needs which differ across the country.

“Rather than Canberra dictating how the money must be spent, this model provides flexibility to those with the knowledge on the ground, to allow additional support to span frontline services, safe accommodation, perpetrator interventions, helplines, counselling services and training,” Mr O’Brien said.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women Marise Payne said the announcement builds on the Government’s commitment to shared responsibility with states and territories which was underpinned by our $260 million National Partnership Agreement on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Responses over 2021-22 and 2022-23 to boost the capacity of frontline services.

“The next National Plan will be an ambitious blueprint to end violence against women and children but it must be more than words,” Minister Payne said.

The next National Plan is currently under development and will be ready to be rolled out before the current plan expires on June 30, 2022.

Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston said the new Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission will have responsibility for monitoring and reporting on accountability and evaluation frameworks against the next National Plan to ensure it delivers real and tangible actions that prevent violence, intervene early and better support victim-survivors.

The Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission would be classified as an executive agency under the Public Service Act lead by a chief executive – the Commissioner – and have research and secretariat staff,” Minister Ruston said.

The Commissioner would have key priorities to be set out in a public Charter and Operating Principles approved by the Minister.

This announcement responds to recommendations 20 and 23 of the House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs inquiry on family, domestic and sexual violence established by Ministers Payne and Ruston.

Our $260 million National Partnership Agreement is the single biggest payment from the Commonwealth to states and territories for domestic and family violence responses. It was announced as part of the Morrison Government’s historic $1.1 billion investment in women’s safety and follows our $130 million National Partnership on COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence Responses.